This is the time of year when memories flow through me like a clear mountain stream. I love the traditions of the holiday season, and my greatest joy is tending them the way a gardener tends her herbs.
What are holidays without baking? Sara May and I spent time together this week baking cookies. Without any prompting from me, she made a faerie-sized platter of tiny cookies and tucked them into her faerie mailbox to share with our tiny garden visitors.
Sara and her Amma baking cookies
Freshly baked cookies for the faerie...
...tucked into her faerie mailbox
Out come the Christmas Cove Designs hand knit stockings from Maine-one for each child. Four miniature stockings will magically appear on the faerie mailboxes on Christmas morning, stuffed with tiny whimsical gifts.
I remember how each Christmas Eve I searched my grandparent's tree for three things that always hung from the lower limbs. A bright red apple, which honored my Bopie's best friend Bob Lee. A potato, and I can't remember who that was for (but it could've been me), and a carrot, the favorite vegetable of my Bopie's brother.
Since my grandparents passed, I've kept that tradition alive, along with some of my own. At the top of our tree is a glass eyed Edwardian squirrel who once decorated a fancy lady's hat, but now reigns supreme over our celebrations. A hundred paper origami cranes, a symbol of peace, were hand folded for me by my daughter-in-law. The multi-colored birds perch happily on every branch of the tree. An old clip on chickie, an early 1900's Santa, a birdhouse my husband made from a walnut, and a Santa Claus painted mussel shell from Burnt Island, Maine, are all keepsakes of many Christmases past.
Walnut bird house and origami crane ornaments
Mussel Shell ornament from Burnt Island, Maine, off the coast of Boothbay Harbor
I'm sick in bed today and missing a much anticipated gathering at the home of a special friend talented illustrator Stephanie Roth Sisson and her husband Fred. I'll take this missed opportunity as a time to wrap stocking stuffers and a time to reflect on the blessings I've been granted–a good family, dear friends (and that includes YOU, my invisible, but ever present blog friends), good health (today excepted), the love of simple pleasures, and the ability to make a living doing something that gives me joy.
Thank you all for your enduring friendship (that includes YOU, Eleanor, friend for 40 years)!