Hard to believe Christmas is actually over….so much shopping, wrapping, sewing, swapping, baking, hosting…and now the house is littered with Polly Pocket accessories and half eaten cookies. I’m in a bit of a daze, processing it all, and trying to build up the energy to get my house into normal working order again…not quite there yet.
Amongst all the commercialized craziness of the season though, I really tried this year to keep things as simple as possible, trying to soak in the the raw, sweet meaning of it all. After all, we’re not celebrating free shipping here…we’re celebrating the birth of Christ. Something about an old fashioned Christmas seems to point me toward “the reason for the season” more than anything.
Less malls, more handmade gifts wrapped in brown paper & twine. Less tweeting, more caroling. Less iPhones, more candles. Less tv specials, more special moments learning to make Grandma’s mashed potatoes or ice skating in the crisp mountain air.
I picked up this darling book last week, sadly a bit too late to incorporate many of the ideas, but I’m excited to use it for next year. It lays out Christmas traditions & craft projects from the 1920s-1960s, and is just packed with ideas- things like simple handmade gift wrap and tags, fun vintage wreaths, candles, and ornaments. I loved the idea of food treats as gifts hung on the tree…who knew that Animal Crackers come with a little string on the box, specifically for hanging on the tree?
Even the ornaments on our tree have gotten a facelift recently. Less plastic glittery ballerinas and more simple vintage treasures. Like this old Holly Hobby satin ball I found at a yard sale this past summer. Really takes me back to my childhood.
Or my grandparents 50th wedding anniversary ornament. This was our first Christmas without either of them, so it holds extra special meaning- I was so honored to have inherited it and hang it on our tree.
And I can’t believe I found this little cuckoo clock ornament at a neighbor’s estate sale a few monthes ago. I truly feel like it was meant just for me. My family heritage is German, and so my grandparents aways had an old wooden cuckoo clock hanging in their kitchen. I’ll never forget the sound of it’s chime as I climbed out of bed and in the morning sprung upstairs for a bowl of Golden Grahams (Grandma knew it was my favorite and always kept a box tucked in her tiny little pantry, right next to the Grape Nuts & coffee cans filled with rubberbands and paper clips).
This is why I chose to name my blog Stitchery Dickory Dock- memories of that old cuckoo clock and the vintage nursery rhyme books I poured over as a child….it represents a simpler time that is so valuable to me. No email…I would run to check the mailbox, hoping for a hand-written letter from my pen pal. No cell phones…we had a rotary phone with a looooooooong tangled up cord. I’d stretch it around the corner into the bathroom so I could have a “private” conversation with a boy. Christmas was magical, to me, back then. I’d squint my eyes at the glowing tree and think to myself, there’s nothing more beautiful in the whole wide world. The felt Advent calendar my mother lovingly made for the family was hung in a place of honor. What a thrill to see who would get to snatch the little baby Jesus from his felt pocket, #25 of course, and lay him in the manger.
I hope that somewhere between the new dollie strollers, silly little elfs, and Hershey kiss-filled candycanes, my little girls felt some Christmas magic this year…the kind of magic that doesn’t come with a gift receipt.