Wife, writer, tinkerer, grower of food. I'm happiest outside our rambling farmhouse with a basket looped on my arm, picking dinner from the garden. That's joy right there. Please follow along; I'm so glad you're here!
Every Christmas I tell myself, "Ok, this year is going to be easy." And every year, of course, I break my own rules. But this year I think I'm getting a handle on things. I'm finally figuring out my own gifting style, and letting go of the guilt and pressure I think we all feel to buy things. I don't really like buying things, even when I know said things will be useful to their recipients. Of course, some things are necessary and inevitable, but I want the bulk of my gifting to be made. I used to sew something for nearly everyone on my list, and as much fun as that was, I'm feeling pulled by other winds lately. I spent my whole summer and fall growing and preserving food, and everyone needs to eat, don't they? I put up hot sauce and pickles and salsa and tomato sauce and caponata and pesto.
So I'm getting on board with a different approach: a basket of abundance for every couple on my list. Stuff I've canned surrounded by some locally made soaps, honey, maple syrup, and dressed up with an ornament, maybe, or a quick potholder. Something like that. Honestly, the garden is a big reason I'm not sewing as much as I used to-- it's just so much work in September and October, putting up and putting away! Good work. Invigorating work. Delicious work-- I grow too much to eat myself, so I'm going to start sharing.
And I love baskets. I love buying baskets (secondhand) and I love filling baskets, and I love dreaming about the willow saplings I've planted that may someday furnish the materials for me to be making baskets. And who doesn't love receiving a basket? They're homey and cheerful and comforting.
So yesterday I pulled in whatever materials I could find around the yard (twigs, Virginia creeper vine, dried iris seed pods) and got to work improvising some festive little bits and bobs.
The older I get, the more I realize that it takes a long time to figure things out. Like, your whole life is really just one long process of figuring, and every year is different, you get closer. (Closer to fine?) I guess I expected that at some point I would just arrive: I would have everything--cooking, cleaning, gifting, loving, working-- set in an easy, satisfying pattern. My late twenties was spent waiting for that day to come-- that magical day when everything would be easy. Never came. And now I'm almost 31, and realizing I need to give myself permission to keep evolving, to always be learning and searching, and to never be perfect.
That's a damn good feeling.
Sheesh. Who would've thought a simple post about Christmas could've turned into such a philosophical ramble. Well. Thanks for listening. And happy Friday!