Tag Archives: christmas

keeping it real


The yard is abundant on these early December days, at least here in the Deep South. Oddly, even with the shorter days, my hens are still laying at their summer pace and the recent rains have caused my kale and cabbage to flourish and of course, like everyone else here, the orange trees are laden.

ornagesI may have told this story before about my mother as a child during the Depression living in Ville Platte on Beech Street waiting for Christmas morning to find fresh citrus in stockings “hung by the fire”. It seemed such a curious little tale when I was young and she told it to me. But now, I understand it. I understand the resourcefulness in life then as opposed to the surreal waste in it now. Oranges were ripe in December and much needed to prevent colds and flu; what better gift than a gift from the Earth?


With that thought, I continue…How better to decorate your house than with the pine cones laying on the ground this December or snippets of holly and Pyracantha or Nandina? And there is bare honeysuckle vines in the woods for wreaths and pine branches low enough to snap and bring inside for fragrance. Camellias are beginning to bloom here and Narcisse bulbs are ready for forcing…this natural list goes on and on and there is no waste and no plastic to recycle. And don’t forget the best holiday display of all, the kitchen, filled with the smell of baked cookies and cinnamon and mugs of fresh coffee waiting for a minute of quiet time amongst the folly that Christmas can cause.camellias

I am prompted to write this in hopes that it may inspire just a few to leave  a bit of the “made in china” on the shelves of corporate stores and find the real gifts of the season right outside your door. And for those purchased gifts we share, each small town is filled with art galleries and crafters and local wares that become unique gifts for friends and family…check out Main Street before you go to the mall – it will make you feel good to shop small and local. Another Momism from my mother this time of year was, “If I can’t find it at Abdallas, I am not buying it.” I love living in that confine of finding gifts within the perimeters of our town – how simple is that?

Anyway, this is my Christmas “message” or perhaps “rant”. Nothing is as it was before and the world has changed since my mother’s long ago childhood – changed in many good ways – but there are still methods and reasoning from the times when people lived closer to the Earth and hovered around their small communities as they supported and cared for one another.

We can continue, tweaked perhaps, by keeping some things “real” for Christmas.

b u

p s

Where is Christmas?

chr tree The new year is coming in. I am not as welcoming as I had hoped. I find myself still thinking too much about the old one. I hear the wind coming through the chimney down into the fireplace and rattling around like a reminder of things left unsettled. I stopped awhile, stopped painting and stopped putting away the old year to put cabbage and black eyed peas on the stove and some fresh lemon in the iced tea I made earlier. I listened longer to the wind stirring around and causing some sort of melancholia to settle in on the crisp new year. I can’t identify it and I certainly don’t like it, so I am writing hoping to find it here in these words to dispel it.

 I think it comes from the sudden switch – the anticipation of the holiday and then newspapers and TVs overflowing with white sales and weight loss and Valentines on greedy store shelves. Where is Christmas? By now, I have gotten so weary of this media directed world we have created – I so long for creative thoughts and originality and time to be a bit more still – time to absorb instead of rushing on to the next “thing”. I think how big the world once was and how we had space to become who we were.

Maybe that’s it, maybe that’s what lingering and bothering me – the herding of society? Oh my, that is way too harsh of a thought or comment, way too disagreeable of an assumption.

I am heading outside. I will bundle up and walk through the drenched field and come back with good thoughts, for I know I will see a cardinal and I will hear my two goats in the woods, eating grass and paying no mind to this hype that hangs around me. I will make a mental note to get bird seed and plant a camellia and another citrus tree before spring,  pick a few oranges, wait for the new moon tonight and think about those pure moments within the holiday that connected me to my family and when I do these things, I will be happy.


b u

p s