Some very hush-hush holiday crafting going on right now. At the moment our kitchen looks like an art gallery and, well -chaos. I guess December is soon upon us. It's good. Although I'm late as always - So many ideas and plans and not so much time or energy to do it all. But there will be some homemade gifts this year. Quite a lot of edibles - it has somehow become a tradition of mine. We've made candy, walnut and apricot biscotti , heavy duty Christmas fruit cake, oranges soaked in brandy, vanilla sugar, tarragon vinegar, chili sauce, mocha liqueur, green/mint tea from the garden... And this year I'm making apple chutney for the kindergarten Christmas fair - and probably some for gifts as well.
I love the idea of edible gifts, and of course handmade gifts in general. And I'm looking forward to Christmas (or jul/yule as we say) this year. Although a part of Christmas is seasoned with stress and the immense pressure to buy more stuff, we can somewhat choose not to follow the masses, not focus on the consumption. Instead we can focus on, and rediscover, the true meaning and traditions behind this season and this holiday. It is difficult - at least for me. Not to get stressed out about gift buying, cleaning, decorating, list writing, crafting, and even more buying. But I am working on it - on slowing down, on grounding and centering and celebrating our way.
This year I'm really looking forward to the decorating and the making of decorations. I'm thinking of drying slices of oranges (haven't tried it yet) to symbolize the sun (we're pagans, and we celebrate the winter solstice - more on that later). Hanging them in windows around the house and probably decorating the tree with them as well. We're also making lots of gingerbread hearts, animals, people etc to use as decorations, making popcorn garlands etc. I'm hoping to make most of the decorations this year - and because a lot of them will be edible - the birds will have a feast sometime after new years :)