Here's the monster tree in all it's glory! As I said before, I didn't think I was going to be able to afford a bought tree this year and had scouted my land for one I could cut but this area just doesn't offer us many native species that would look...um...appropriate. I usually buy my tree from a little family owned, fruit and veggie stand here in our town but knew they were kinda pricey. On a whim I decided to stop in last week and just see what they wanted. "Any tree you want, $20!" Hey, I could afford that! I thanked the man and he helped me get it in my truck. I had to wrestle it around a bit to get it back out when I got home. I'm sure Lika thought I had finally snapped; Grendal is fairly used to the ritual by now.
You all that have read my blog for some time know, because of several issues, Christmas is often not the happiest time as it should be for me but this year I have done some research and am trying to focus on doing things a little differently. To try to make certain rituals more meaningful, like the tree itself. Without sounding pitiful, I know that the lack of presents under the tree is one thing that makes me sad. Not that I want to receive but I love to give my handmade gifts to people. I know I rant about the commercialism, which is correct, but if I had a mate or children I would love to heap gifts on them, as most people do.
So, in order to connect to the origins of our customs I don't bring the tree in until Solstice and I leave all the decorations up until Twelfth Night or the night before Epiphany. This is to celebrate the days now getting longer and our promise of Spring and warmth again. Of Life.
I especially like stars, birds and pinecones or other natural symbols for my tree. My sister brought me some birch bark back from one of those icy, foreign lands like Minnesota or somewhere, so I made these ornaments with it. You can't see but the edges have just a faint line of glitter on them.
Here is a little comparison shot, to see the size of the tree. I think this is the first tree I have ever had to decorate off of a 8 foot step ladder. But I'm a little short so I know others could have used a chair probably.
Now, I do get my Mom a present and we draw names amongst my siblings and their kids, so there is some gift giving. Mostly we just eat and goof off, which i guess is just as well. A few of my guys from work have also called to wish holiday greetings so I don't feel completely void of human contact! Ha! I'm just teasing!
So, this year I am making a real effort to celebrate the actual 12 days of Christmas which has all but been forgotten in our society and I'll be posting what this consist of in case maybe some of you might like to do so as well. Some of the traditions are very interesting and I think will be a good way to avoid the let down after Christmas day that so many people say they feel, especially if you are alone. I think a lot of people say they experience this because we have an innate feeling that there should be more to our celebrations than the orgy of shopping and consuming, and there should.
Let me just wish you all (if you celebrate) a very Merry Christmas and hope that your heart and hands are overflowing this year. May we all remember that Love is the greatest gift of all and continues to grow as we give it away.