The holidays were pretty close to perfect for me this year. Lots of togetherness but lots of alone time too. To read. To sleep. To reorganize my home, my studio and my thoughts.
My giving this year was very in sync with my philosophy to creatively reuse. I gave carefully chosen vintage books to friends and family.
One of my best finds was a 1941 authentic Swiss Army Jacket for my nephew that I found in this sweet town at Americana Antiques. He loved it.
I mailed a tradition to our Godchildren and re-gifted my children's advent house that they have out grown (I replaced it with a smaller one as I haven't out grown the advent house). I had so much fun filling all the doors with clues and treats.
And wrapping all the goodies that go with the clues.
I delivered these truly amazing cream puffs to the businesses that help me recycle in my art. It takes a village.
And with the help of a local middle school nurse and a very close friend, I helped a few teenagers believe there really is a Santa.
And I received so much in return. Sweet little bloomers (I could live in this these with a sweater), a Vera scarf, big candles, music, a bathroom redo from my husband (finished in two days!)...the list is long.
And I got a gift I wasn't expecting from my mom, who passed away five years ago.
As I was setting the table for Christmas dinner, I went downstairs into the basement to look for cloth napkins. And sitting out in plain sight was a book of poems titled, "For you My Daughter".
I opened it up and saw her familiar handwriting. She had given me this book of poems for Christmas in 1991. And I haven't seen it since that day. It simply showed up.
I paged through it looking for some kind of message she may have left inside the pages. I didn't see it at first, but later that night before I went to bed, I found she had underlined a few sentences.
"I want you to know that I am very proud of you and love you dearly." I know she was reaching out to me, which is the very best gift ever.
My mother-in-law also found a treasure in the basement beneath the stairs. She set the table with these lovely plates she hand-painted 42-years-ago, starting a tradition of singing for your Christmas dinner.
The Twelve days of Christmas. You sing where you sit. She always sits in front of Five Golden Rings.
And we are grateful for all her magic.
And I am grateful for the balance of the season.
Thoughtful giving and receiving.
Lost then found. Singing and silence.