Sunday, December 30, 2007

Random thoughts of the holidays

We decided when we moved to the mountains of Western North Carolina to take it easy during the holidays. Charlie, the child of divorce, wanted the Monkey to wake up in her own house on Christmas morning and not be shuffled from relative to relative. I just really hate driving this time of year and also dislike jumping from place to place. It is really much nicer to visit relatives without the odd stress of the holidays with all it's ill-placed expectations. It's nicer to visit the midwest in the summer anyway. Also, it is difficult to find someone to watch 3 dogs, a cat, 2 goats, 2 turkeys, 3 geese (a laying, mind you), 4 ducks, 6 guineas, and 20-some chickens.

So, we stayed home and enjoyed a quiet, yet festive family dinner on Christmas Eve. We woke up at our leisure (o.k., Monkey's leisure) and lazily drank coffee by the tree while opening up our presents. While things stayed pretty low key in the gift department, there were a few stand outs. If you happen to look at my flickr page, you will notice a different camera listed under the photo stats. It was totally unexpected, and somehow tied to the company, but I just hug myself and giggle when I use it (which means some shaky pictures. I've got to stop that). I received skeins of local handspun yarn to play with. Our family has come a long way on the sustainability front in the last couple of years.

That leads me to mention other changes as well. I think we are wearing off on some family members. While Monkey did get the Barbie doll she craved, she also found a peg loom, wooden hand-crafted games, books and art supplies under the tree. I had said no to plastic toys this year. Grandma bought the Barbie, although we had asked her to. And Monkey was happy. It was the year of the shopping bag. Not only were presents wrapped in reusable cloth bags, but one aunt sent us a set of these. What hip patterns and colors! And they roll up so small that there's no excuse not to have them with you on any shopping expedition. We also received gifts from women's co-ops and organizations that help others. It was nice to feel good about what was under the tree. I do have to mention though, that it took more searching than usual to find stocking stuffers that were not plastic and not made in China (I have concerns...). Luckily, there's a Ten Thousand Villages in downtown Asheville - it was almost one-stop shopping during lunch one day.

And one more thought - you know you are surrounded by great people when you here someone pipe up at a holiday party, "Wow, it's raining and the Burpee seed catalog arrived on the same day - it's a sign!" And with more seed catalogs arriving every day, I need to sit down and make the list and start ordering.


  1. Mmm...the seed catalogue!

    Sounds like a great holiday all around.

  2. I'm kind of in love with the seed catalog, myself. And I don't exactly have much space. Sigh.

  3. I'm spending my day with seed catalogs!