Roots give you something to stand on…


Why Traditions? Because I said so that’s why! No, really ..traditions reinforce; tradition works.

Have you ever been a bystander, a guest of another family – viewing a family tradition? Kinda lonely right? Tradition reinforces who we are; who our families are…it doesn’t matter who you ARE individually, you’re family…

….the hilarious uncle, odd cousins, senile grandparents, or eccentric Aunt, when a reason arises for the a family get together; we are all welcomed back into the fold despite past disagreements, Thanksgiving is such a time.

Generation after generation has gathered together to celebrate and gives thanks…a tradition that has been around for a LONG time (well, in relative terms; this is a young Country after-all).

Roots give you something to stand on. They give you an identity that you can be proud of.

Traditions are tried and true…with the onslaught of commercialism; and “gotta’ have it mentality so prevalent at the holidays it’s easy to lose track of the reason they exist. It is about family and friends. Without family, all the material and money in the world wouldn’t mean much.

Getting together as family during holidays, celebrations, and life’s milestones is second-nature, a custom, a way of life…a tradition, and traditions evoke a deep seated emotional response, a connection to our past and our present. This is why tradition works.

Tradition is about creating a refuge, a comfortable haven, away from the world. It’s all about putting some meaning behind life’s steps. No matter how much you’ve done in your life, how many miles are on your frequent flyer account, how rich you are, or how powerful, tradition will always be bigger than you are.

Be well,
Jess

Wanna have a white Christmas?


If you are, like me, dreaming of a white Christmas, the prospects at the moment don’t look terribly encouraging. It’s about 10 days ’til the big day. Our weather has not been cooperating and now it looks like the snow we do have on the ground now will be gone in the coming days…humbug, I say!

I suppose we all may have different notion of what is normal Christmas weather depending on the era and area in which we were raised as children. I may have been infused with the notion that a snowy landscape should be the norm. Quite a romantical notion really, isn’t it.
Waking up as we did last year to a beautiful covering of snow on the holiday seems like an added blessing to me. I do, however, well remember one holiday season… that brought us way too much of a good thing. 1968, I think..Green Bay packers had a good year (not that this mattered to me, but, I remember the excitement) and we were snowed in from Thanksgiving on…it was over my head, mind you I was probably only 3 feet tall at the time. That’s where these things begin, memories of snow so deep you couldn’t walk through. Perspective is born. Trees so big you have to tilt your head way up to see the top. Ah, our childhood vision…we need to use our child-like eyes to see this holiday for what it can be ~ magical. Not for what the media dictates it should be…expectations can never be fully realized and lead to disappointment for some. So go ahead admire the beauty of the decorated trees, the sweetness of cookies and cakes, the frenzied pace, the time preparing, the wrapping, the frenzied shoppers, a good book and a cup of cocoa,…enjoy the moment not for what it should be , but for what it is. What ever that means to you…not what today’s media and commercialism tries to shove down our throats. We don’t need to buy Christmas…we need to learn to enjoy it again. Enjoy loved ones, enjoy ourselves.

If you, like myself still wish for a white Christmas…try this!

playdough snow...saw this on pintrest.

I tried a new recipe for homemade playdough today, and this is by far the best I have found.
1 Cup Flour
1/2 cup salt
2 tbsp oil
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 cup water
food coloring

Heat the oil in a pot. Remove from the heat and add food coloring and water. Stir in all other ingredients. Continue to cook over low heat until mixture is firm, about 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat, and set clay mixture on wax paper to cool.
Store in an airtight container

Or this…

snowflake, my pretty little snowflake...

Make Snowflakes

Make real crystal snowflakes to decorate your home or tree using borax (look for it on the laundry detergent aisle at the store). This activity takes about 30 minutes of active preparation and then overnight to set. (Adult supervision recommended.)
Materials

Wide-mouth jar
3 pipe cleaners
String
Scissors
A pencil
Water
1-cup measuring cup
Tablespoon
Borax
Food coloring (optional)
Glow-in-the-dark paint (optional)
Ribbon (optional)
What To Do:

1.Twist together three pipe cleaners in the center to make a 6-pointed star. Use scissors to trim down the ends of the pipe cleaners so they are all approximately the same length and can fit in the jar.

2.Tie a piece of string to one end of the star. Connect the string to the next point by twisting it around the pipe cleaner. Continue around until you connect all the points together with the string, making a snowflake skeleton (see the picture).

3.Tie another piece of string to one of the pipe cleaner points and tie the other end around the pencil. Place the snowflake in the jar with the pencil resting across the mouth of the jar. Make sure that the snowflake hangs without touching any part of the jar. Take the snowflake out of the jar.

4.Use a teakettle or microwave to boil enough water to fill the jar. Have an adult help you add the hot water to the jar. As you do, measure out how many cups of water are needed to fill the jar. For every cup of water placed in the jar, mix in three tablespoons of borax. This will make a saturated borax solution. Stir the borax solution with a spoon until as much of it dissolves as is possible.

5.Hang your snowflake in the jar so that it is completely covered in the solution. Let it sit overnight. Gently remove your now crystal-covered snowflake in the morning and let it dry by hanging it in a dry jar.

Optional: To make colored snowflakes, use colored pipe cleaners and add 1-2 drops of food coloring in step four. To make your snowflakes glow in the dark, paint the pipe cleaner snowflake with glow-in-the-dark paint in step two and let it dry completely before going on to step three. Tie a ribbon to one point of your snowflake to make a Christmas tree ornament!

a romantical notion....

the days of yore...

Norman Rockwell the beloved and talented artist always set out in his paintings to depict life in America and the importance of American Values. In our fast paced society today we need to re-discover these same values this year during the Christmas season.

I re-named this: The reality....another Rockwell depiction

So, yes, I am still dreaming of a white Christmas, and may all your Christmases be bright…. whatever weather this Christmas Day brings – snow, sleet, sunshine, rain or fog …make your own Merry and (perhaps) make your own white.

Be well,
Jess