At last. I’m beginning to feel a bit of seasonal cheer.
Still, when it’s December, flurries and the bluster of wintry winds surely put me in the mood.
Poinsettias. Fresh greenery. Contemplating both sons here again, enjoying the silly little things that will be waiting for them at the holiday.
For some of us, this is a time of year that is about spirit – the spirit of giving, of family, and yes – there is occasionally melancholy.
But when I look at my boys I can push negative thoughts away and focus on the young men they are becoming. And, while I don’t love the seasonal spread on my hips, I know the kids appreciate the seasonal spread that comes out of the oven – the traditional baking that I love, just before the end of the year.
And that holiday baking? It can be done for a song. So what was I up to late last night when I couldn’t sleep? No – not the baking, but a few other things to spruce up the place!
My budget used to be considerably fatter, but even on the UnBudget, we pack plenty of cheer into our cozy rooms.
I have a collection of old ornaments – some mercury glass and others in wood or papier maché. I admit to having favorites – those in beautiful jeweled colors which I picked up here and there over the years.
I love displaying them in an antique porcelain bowl, and filling another wide glass vase with pomander balls, cinnamon sticks, and smaller pine cones found in our yard.
As for the ornaments themselves and the bowl – they were discovered at flea markets and the odd antique store. I enjoy an eclectic mix of objects (for our “eclectic” and admittedly messy lifestyle), and when I combine them, I remember when and where they came from.
Those recollections? They’re usually very sweet, which is a bonus.
Cents, Sense, and Sentiment
I’m fortunate in that my backyard offers greenery and berries to cut and arrange on the mantel. I can clip fresh branches every few days, and adding bright fruits and pine cones, that mantel comes alive for nearly nothing at all.
My poinsettias were picked up at Home Depot (for a song), and as for those pomander balls – I’ll be tending to them later this week. Nothing more than fresh oranges with whole cloves decorating their surface. In a pattern, if you’re so inclined.
I also dig through boxes until I can find just one or two objects from when my sons were much younger. A folk art Santa that sits on a bookshelf, and if possible, one or two things made by the boys themselves, or ornaments I sewed when they were little, which they’re certain to remember.
(Our) Traditional Seasonal Recipes
There’s the annual picture with the kids – to be taken in a week or so, and no doubt, they’ll be making faces. (Some things never change.)
This is a time of year I’ve always loved – when I was single, when I was married – before kids and especially since. Even in our cozy space with our cozy budget, we manage the essentials. Wonderful aromas. Warm feelings. A little sparkle.
No Bah. No humbug. ‘Tis the season.
- What are your favorite things to put around the house?
- Are they religious in nature, or more seasonal?
- How do you manage on a tight budget?
- Do you go for the matching look or more eclectic and sentimental objects?
- Do you have a consistent holiday style, or do you switch up your décor?