So at last it is here…Christmas 2011. It seems the radio and TV have been selling it to us for months now. Thankfully the recession that engulfs Ireland and indeed the rest of the world seems to have reduced the gross consumerism of recent years. The shops are busy but people seem to be much more sensible and selective with their purchases. A good thing in my view. I always try to buy useful presents for family members…things they really want or will find useful. At this point we are pretty good at getting it right. Some of the nieces and nephews are now teenagers and have a liking for money gifts. I’m not a huge fan of giving money so this year we gave a gift and some money so hopefully everyone will be happy.
According to the Met Office the weather is to be mild and balmy…a big change from the last 2 Christmasses when we were snowed in. The pic above of the dogs in the snow was taken 2 weeks ago but that snow quickly disappeared.
My favourite thing at this time of year is collecting foliage from garden and hedgerow to make a wreath. I usually do this before the Solstice as for me the circle of the wreath represents the continuing cycle of life, death and renewal that happens each year. The Solstice was traditionally seen as the re birth of the Sun. The time when the Sun remains resting for a while before it once again starts it’s climb higher into the sky bringing long days and the renewal of activity. The 12 days of Christmas is said to have come from the traditions of the Celts who celebrated the 12 days the Sun remained steady in one position before starting the upward journey.
The wreath looks pretty good I think and I got great pleasure from making it. The birds have eaten all the Holly berries already so I used Sedum heads for a splash of red.
The wreath of Holly popular as a door decoration in America is said to have been brought there by Irish settlers who left Ireland at the time of the Great Potato Famine in the mid 1800s. Holly grows wild all over Ireland and most people like to bring sprigs of it indoors at this time of year.
I also made a wreath for my Mother’s front door. We did the trip down to Tipperary on Wednesday. We left home early in the morning and did’nt get back until midnight. We had a good long day there and left our pressies under the various Christmas trees. Our presents are also waiting…unopened until Christmas morning. I don’t understand people who open their presents before Christmas. Not for us.
So now all that’s left is for me to say Happy Christmas to you all. May it be happy and peaceful. Thank you to the visitors who read, follow and comment on my blog…I do appreciate it. As is said in Irish “Nollaig Shona Duit” which means “Happy Christmas to You”.