Saturday, November 4, 2017

Seven Weeks of Intentional Christmas Spirit. Christmas is Hygge to Me. Magic and Hardship Together. Snow!

* Our Christmas Cactus blooming.

"Oh the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful. And Since we've no place to go, Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow! It doesn't show signs of stopping, so I brought some corn for popping, the lights are turned way down low. Let it Snow, let it Snow, Let it Snow..."- Sammy Cahn

After Halloween hits in Canada, there are no major Holidays in the way of our Christmas crazy family from getting into our favourite festive season. It helps when our weather usually brings snow at the beginning of November. We are currently sitting at a foot and the snow is still falling. I have to admit, I was dreading the snow this year. After experiencing last year's winter of dry roads and brown grass until December 22, I realized the ease and convenience of life is improved drastically without snow...but I am a true Lorelei Gilmore and cannot help but feel the magic of the first smell of snow, even if it does hamper outings and such.

My favourite time of day is twilight when the snow is gently lit by the darkening sky. The world is quieted by the blanket. The air feels lighter and heavier at once. Soft crunch sounds are muffled through the windows. Street lights are dimmed from the piles of white fluff which enhances the glow from inside.

"I would be happy just to hold the hands I love, on this Winter's Night with you...the lamp is burning low upon my table top, snow is softly falling, the air is still in the silence of my room, I hear your voice softly calling. If I could only have you near, to breathe a sigh or two, I would be happy just to hold the hands I love. On this Winter's night with you."- Sarah McLachlan

I fall in love with every season. Each one brings a beauty and freshness to life I welcome. We have four distinct seasons where we live, but because of our place in Canada, our weather patterns can drastically change even within these seasons. While this can be an inconvenience and sometimes my chronically ill body curses the wind and weather, my soul secretly loves the unpredictability. It keeps me on my toes. It keeps me fresh. It encourages me to make knew goals. ( I know...I'm a complete 'J' type!) And I feel inspired.

Winter brings me back to my soul. Our home always feels the most like "itself " when it's decorated for the Holidays. Which is why one can usually drive by and see the flicker of two trees up by November first...and sometimes if the snow comes early and we are needing warmth...October... Which is crazy even to the well seasoned inhabitants of our vast land. Well, most of them anyway, except for the few holiday fanatics. But for us? Besides the fact that we are used to being the deviants, and never fully in the acceptable standards of majority public opinion, it's more about our souls. We have so many beautiful Christmas ornaments, trees, and Holiday decor that I like to have it up for at LEAST three, if not four or five months of the year. It depends on how white it is outside and dark and for how long. I need warmth, light and sparkles! My Autumn decor is up for three months, and I enjoy my Christmas collection even more- so why not? Truthfully, one can witness all seasons in my decor all year long, but the main theme changes depending on the upcoming Festivities.

 "It's all red and gold and Nat King Cole and tinsel on the tree. It's all twinkle lights, and snowy nights, and the kids still believe...."- Kacey Musgraves

Last year was excruciating. My husband tried to end his life last year around this time. I could not speak about the details back then while dealing with them but now it is easier to speak of. We had Christmas in November (CLICK) to give ourselves a taste of hope (and it was a good decision but one we will not be doing this year- each season needs to have it's own rhythm.) Our marriage was crumbling to pieces due to many factors but especially my husband's Jekyll/Hyde persona and rage. Luckily, that has all been sorted out and I can not stress enough the importance of support, professional help with the RIGHT med instead of the triggering ones, therapy, diligence, kindness and time. But it is hard for me to not hate him when I get some of those memories back. I couldn't hate him then, even when he was raging, because I knew it wasn't himself and that there was grief and wrong med involved...but now in hindsight, it's a struggle not to hate those moments. So instead, I am trying to focus on what we are recovering.

"It's the ones you miss, no one to kiss, under the mistletoe. Another year gone by, just one more that I could not make it home. And I know that they say- have a Happy Holiday and some years I sincerely try. Oh but Christmas always makes me cry. It seems like everyone else is having fun. I wonder if I'm the only one? Whose broken heart has broken parts, just wrapped in pretty paper..."- Kacey Musgraves

Recovery takes time. I think often people like to hear it's all better within a certain time frame. They want us to be back to the selves we were before, even though sometimes those people are no more. That hope for what was, while not always reasonable, is understandable. However, some circumstances change us forever. Always with a bit of positive and a bit of negative depending on the perspective.

How did I go from Winter's magic to the realism of the nitty gritty? To me, it is always both. Within magic there is a price. Within a price there can be magic. And in the magic of almost two feet of snow, I feel the depth of emotion, isolation, contentment, hope, misery, pain and joy.

"Twinkling lights on Christmas trees, kids up on old Santa's knee...bells are ringing everywhere, season's spirits in the air..."- Alabama

"Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, jack frost nipping at your nose. Yuletide carols being sung by a choir, and folks dressed up like Eskimos. Everybody knows a turkey and mistletoe, helps to make the season bright..."- Nat King Cole

We've had dark Christmases before for varied reasons...finances, death, depression. During those times, the festivities could sometimes enhance the sadness of the season. Luckily there are multiple Christmas songs for those feelings too. Music expressed my misery and kept me afloat. Also the glitter and glimmer was a stark contrast from reality and DID make it worse at times but also helped me remember the duality of life. If you are going into that season, find some hope, help and support. HERE, HERE and HERE are helpful posts on recovering finances, changing expectations and goals, and creating Hygge...I recommend them going into this season if you are needing some life hacks.

This year we are going tentatively into another type of Recovery season. Instead of Judy Crooning "Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas" or Dolly singing "Hard Candy Christmas" over and over, more mellow, hopeful tunes are turning on the record player. For Stateside people who still have Thanksgiving to anticipate I could see how Christmas is not on the radar. If I had a holiday in between I would feel conflicted...Halloween gets in the way of my Holiday mode sometimes. Seven weeks till Christmas feels like a large amount of time for some, but for me, seven weeks of my decor, warm lights, gently falling snow, Hygge and Christmas tunes sounds delightful.
The fireplace is burning bright, shining along me. 
I see the presents underneath the good old Christmas tree. And I wait all night 'til Santa comes to wake me from my dreams. Oh, why? 'Cause that's Christmas to me. >I see the children play outside, like angels in the snow. While mom and daddy share a kiss under the mistletoe. And we'll cherish all these simple things wherever we may be
Oh, why? 'Cause that's Christmas to me. I've got this Christmas song in my heart. I've got the candles glowing in the dark. I'm hanging all the stockings by the Christmas tree. Oh, why? 'Cause that's Christmas to me. Oh, why? 'Cause that's Christmas to me. I listen for the thud of reindeer walking on the roof. As I fall asleep to lullabies, the morning's coming soon. The only gift I'll ever need is the joy of family. Oh, why? 'Cause that's Christmas to me. I've got this Christmas song in my heart. I've got the candles glowing in the dark. And then for years to come we'll always know one thing. That's the love that Christmas can bring. Oh, why? 'Cause that's Christmas to me..." - Pentatonix

The kids went out into the snow with their daddy last night to build snowmen. The darkness encompassed our environment around Dinnertime but was brightened by the white glow of snow. They wrestled, made snow angels and threw snowballs for an hour while I took pictures from inside. I sat on the couch beside the window with my steaming cinnamon - topped tea in hand, the glow of the tree was in one corner and the fireplace warmth in another. My record player was pumping out Nat King Cole and I could occasionally hear a muffled squeal from outside. It was one of those moments when all was right with the world. I wish each person in the world could have more of those moments (an Idealist much?:)...and maybe if we did, if we truly savoured them and celebrated the comforts of home and family, maybe the world wouldn't get so crazy? Maybe...

I love the snow that keeps falling because I have nowhere to go. We have chosen a life of low commitments. We have chosen to focus on the brief season of children in the home and centered in the home. It helps that we have a treadmill given to us for the moments we require indoor activity. We have all that we need, and I know this story would be different if we didn't...I have experienced glimmers of THAT (CLICK) life too and I understand. But this is my current NOW. I speak from experiences that are ME. This weekend we are not planning on venturing out at all, unless it's to play in the large tufts of snow. It would be a different story if we had to go out on the roads or out in the cold by force...but we don't. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this season of our story. Christmas to me is more than just a day. It's a spirit of winter. It's more than seven weeks of Hygge. It's about intention, family and hearth. 
Last week we had plus temperatures of 18 Celsius and five days ago we mowed our lawn a final time. I admit that our home looks cleaner and probably fresher pre Christmas decor (See above) but when the white flecks fall, I need stuff around me...I need the visual reminders of what the spirit is about for me...
I don't expect most to understand our version of Christmas, nor to even accept the timeline we have for our particular brand of beauty. But I do wish for those who want more out of life, to understand the spirit behind what we do. I wish that, even if it is not something that can be done in certain circumstances or places, that the merits of 'WHY?' bring home that feeling of Hygge. Hygge will be different for all, depending on taste, weather patterns, and placement. But the Spirit of it? That is Christmas to me.

"Where the love circles around us, like the gifts around the's the only Christmas for me...Come on weather man, give us a forecast snowy white."- Amy Grant


Philip CalledtoQuestion said...

Love! Love! Love! Your Christmas spirit is wonderful. You decorate with magic and love. Thanks for making my home a Christmas wonderland.

Kmarie A. said...

Thank you. I appreciate your validation. Im glad you feel the magic and love infused in all my decor. I love to live in the Christmas Wonderland with you. xoxo