Trim up the tree, it's Christmastime
Polly has been singing that song from the Grinch lately and it's so cute.
We got our tree at Indian Rock Tree Farm again this year, a beautiful and welcoming family-owned operation on North Canyon Road in Apple Hill that also offers fly fishing lessons in the summer. We have made it a tradition to not only pick out our beloved tree and have candy canes by the outdoor fire, but to take some time to wander the grounds a bit, down to the cascading river in the mossy woods.
The girls were really into assigning ages to all the trees, "I think this one is about a four year old." "This one is a newborn!" "Here is a big kid, an 18 year old!"
We did have some slips in the mud, some tumbles down hillsides, but the whole day was so jolly that no one seemed to mind.
The fairy world around us breathed and watched.
First candy canes of the season!
As for me, I was most excited about the rustic homemade crafts I was finding inside the little general store; all these delightful little carefully constructed Christmassy doo-dads running about the same price as cheap made-in-china ornaments at Target. I bought a little burlap santa, a felted top-hatted elfin gent, local dried persimmons for my mom, and mulling spices.
We headed down the enchanted rocky staircase to the river.
Darin carried the tripod so that we could try to get a family photo for our Christmas card. I never knew, before I became a mom, that one of my biggest frustrations would be the excruciating attempts at getting a good picture. Utter mayhem seems to ensue anytime we pull out the camera, especially if I dare to have high hopes.
This was about the best we could do:
Sometimes it pays to stop trying and just let them wander and play.
One of my favorite times of the season is decorating the tree, pulling out all the sentimental old ornaments, choosing our favorites and thinking about the stories behind them all.
It is so fun to have such careful little helpers. "Mommy is this one breakable?!" They'd shout, before attempting to hang anything. The bottom have of our tree was considerably busier than the top this year.
Our tree withstood the season even with our little wildcat Gelfling around.
This is basically the extent of Darin's helping.
Almost done! And then I was off to teach class that night.
Bubble popper extraordinaire.
We've had a glorious December. I have a lot of hope in my heart this time of year, and our Solstice night stoked my internal fire even more. It's a time of tradition, ancient ritual, and great love and trust. May the winter journey be brightly lit for you all.