Wednesday, December 20, 2006

wow. thank you all so much. i don't get near my sewing machine nearly as often as i would like and it is extremely gratifying to get so much positive feedback! thank you!

things are winding down. not necessarily because i want them to but because tomorrow my mom arrives and i don't want a long list of things to do once she is here. (though i still do want to try and get nightgowns sewn for the girls. a tradition that we have established - and one from my own childhood.)

tradition. i think so important to the season. we are trying hard to move away from the commercial aspects and to more spiritual. together time. established memories. i remember carefully unwrapping decorations from my youth and placing them on our tree much more clearly than what i unwrapped from under the tree.


this angel adds to that. over 50 years ago a woman on our street - long since moved away - decided to try and get everyone into the spirit of things. to have each street in our neighborhood "themed" to the season - "Candy Cane Lane", "Candlelight Lane" and "Avenue of the Bells". ours being the latter. each house was outfitted with a decoration to that theme. our street was once lined with angels ringing bells. every house was lit and the area became a destination during the holiday season. there have been murmurs of a decline. complaints of too many "inflatables" etc. the angels are disappearing, replaced with giant Rudolphs, Grinches and Santas. this year about half a dozen grace our neighbors yards. when our dear neighbor moved away this past summer she gave us her angel, and we promised we would use it, though she was missing her bell. (we bought our home from the original owner, who was jewish, and also mentioned to us this holiday tradition, and how the homes where hanukkah was celebrated would deck out in blue lights, and she even placed a giant menorah on her front lawn.) by luck, another neighbor and friend mentioned last week that they had a bell, but were missing their angel and would gladly pass theirs to us. kismet. i love it. tradition.

what are you passing on?


Jennifer said...

Hurrah for traditions and the move away from consumerism! We have been struggling with that ourselves, trying to instill a sense of the wonder of the season instead of wonder over the gaudy stuff that surrounds it. We read "A Little House Christmas Treasury" each year and talk about how simple things were then, and what we can do to simplify with them (like handmake presents, ask for less, enjoy less more). We also write letters to Father Christmas on Solstice, and talk about who Saint Nicholas was. It isn't much, but trying to remove the ever-present Santa Claus-giver-of-all-things is a yearly goal. Thanks for sharing your steps in these directions too! And happy holidays, Tracy (too bad neither of us is in BC!).

melissa f. said...

we generally pass around sickness this time of year. not always the kindest of traditions, but pretty darn reliable.

i am so into the angel-- i'm silly happy you guys put it out, and that other people do the same. next year: giant menorah.

Gwendolen said...

been a little out of the loop lately but I've just checked out those lunch bags and i LOVE them! Great job you've done.

leslie said...

i have been looking for a way to bring traditions back to our neighborhood too. when we first moved in, there were july 4th parties in the street and progressive dinners at christmas. all those wonderful neighbors have moved and i am feeling the need to motivate everyone left to start these up again. thanks for the post! sense of community is priceless!