Sorry for the lack of posts! I’ve been hibernating and enjoying the winter holidays with friends and family, as well as taking some time in the quiet days of winter to reflect on this year and the new one starting. This has been a year filled with personal growth for me, and so I’m excited to start 2011.
This photo was taken on the morning of the Winter Solstice. We threw a solstice party and invited a few friends over to share a bonfire, food and warmth with us. The Winter Solstice has been celebrated all over the world for over 4,000 years, and we found a great significance in this, this year, standing around a bonfire with those we care about, reflecting on the previous year and toasting with wassail to the year ahead. We even burned cinnamon sticks and bunches of dried white sage: said to help wash negative energy away. It smelled so good and the experience was fun and new to us, yet at the same time gave us a connection to four millennia of human beings of all different faiths, celebrating the rhythm of our universe.
Of course, inside there was lots of food.
Delicious and somewhat spicy white chili with shredded chicken and great northern beans.
A green salad with apples and walnuts. (Note my vintage snowflake Pyrex! I have several pieces, this is the pattern that I “officially” collect. The aqua matches my kitchen walls and I have a piece or two of the same pattern in black, as well.)
Potato and cheddar perogies.
Stuffed mushrooms. (These were so good!)
Spiced apple cake and rolled shortbread cookies.
Candied citrus peels (dipped in chocolate) and peanut brittle.
After the solstice we had a pretty low-key Christmas with just Tod, Jonah and I. I think it’s what all of us needed, and we all happily stayed indoors and took it easy for a long weekend.
Tod and I committed again this year to buying only handmade, second-hand, or local gifts, and it makes Christmas so much more rewarding for us. We enjoyed the shopping experience, going out and supporting the local businesses here in Richmond, and keeping our eyes peeled for all of the treasures at our favorite thrift and antique shops, and used book shops! And of course I picked up a few gifts at the craft shows that I participated in this season as well.
This Christmas was full of new experiences for us as parents. We chose not to give gifts from “Santa,” and while we talked about where the legend of Santa Claus came from, and enjoyed watching classic cartoons with Santa and Rudolf, Jonah understood that they were pretend and still found it totally magical.
Even without the “threat” of being on a naughty list, Jonah has been helping out around the house and we talked about “Showing gratitude with a good attitude.” :D
This was one of my favorite gifts that we put together for him this year. I bought a vintage tin treasure chest on Etsy, and we filled it with foreign coins from all over the world, plus “gem stones.”
Needless to say, it was a hit. He loves his “treasure” and has been having lots of fun counting and sorting the coins and gems.
What kind of parents give their 2.5 year old comic books for Christmas? Awesome ones, that’s who. AW YEAH, TITANS!
And his first “real” action figure. *Sniff* They grow up so fast.
Aunt Jordan even read a bed time story to Jonah over Skype at the end of the day. (Yes, we still have a pacifier for night time.)
I hope you all had a wonderful holiday!