Looking around our current home this morning, there are very few indications of the time of year. Normally we would have a Christmas tree decorated, a Yule log by the fireplace, and the mantle would be decked out for Santa. Not this year though. Last year when the holidays were over and it became time to take down all of our decorations we decided to donate them to local charities because we fully expected to be in our new tiny house well before the 2017 holidays and the larger decorations simply wouldn’t fit. While we are well on our way to living on our new homestead, as with any construction project, you MUST work in harmony with Mother Nature. So, this year, we decided to forgo the decorations so as not to create more waste. We will decorate the tiny house, but we will wait until we can fully assess the space we have before gathering decorations for different seasons. Nathan and I don’t go all out with the gift exchange part of the commercialized Christmas. I personally don’t like the commercialized idea of the holiday that drives people to spend way too much money, create a lot of waste, and perpetuate the idea that this time of year is all about how many presents we get. Now, don’t get me wrong, we do get gifts for our nieces and nephews (always practical and this year eco-friendly) and we do exchange simple gifts with one another, though our gift exchanges usually include practical gifts that have everyday use for our home. I have never felt as though I needed to wait until a certain time of year to buy a gift for my husband. If there is something he wants or needs, I want to give him those gifts all year round.
Regardless of a lack of seasonal decorations, I sit this morning and ponder the meaning of the season for me. This time of year brings mixed feelings for many and I am no exception. There are those loved ones who have passed from this life who are sorely missed. Conversely, I am surrounded by so many people I love and everywhere I look I can find people and things for which to be enormously grateful. So, for me, this time of year brings feelings of joy, happiness, peace, love, gratitude and sometimes a deep emptiness for missed loved ones.
Here on the Hennick Homestead, we start our holiday season with Samhain (commonly known as Halloween). On this night we honor all those in our lives who have passed from this life; we spend time remembering them fondly and being grateful for the lessons they taught. We also spend some time in gratitude to for all the abundance and love we have in our lives. Next comes Thanksgiving. We spend this day with our family sharing a wonderful meal and spending time with those we love. Though I try to make everyday a day of thanksgiving, this particular day I try to pay closer attention to all those things for which I have to be grateful. After Thanksgiving comes Yule or the Winter Solstice. This is the longest night of year and a time that reminds us to stop and rest for a bit. We take some time this night honor the dark part of year that lets the earth sleep and rest and get ready for vibrance and life of Spring. We take a moment to welcome the coming warmth. From this day forward the days will begin to get a little longer and Spring will soon arrive. Finally, we come to Christmas. Commercialized Christmas aside, this holiday, for me, is a time to make an extra effort of give love, peace, joy, and happiness to everyone you meet. Regardless of your chosen religion or faith, this is a time of year that most people try to focus on goodness.
Whatever faith you practice, please accept wishes of happiness, joy, abundance, peace, good health, and love from the Hennick Homestead to you and your family.