“Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens, brown paper packages tied up with strings, these are a few of my favorites things”
Somehow I know I’m going to see a television replay of the Sound of Music this Christmas season. It shares the value of home and family. That we can face every metaphorical mountain. That it’s not naïve to have an irrepressible zest for life. This flick reminds me of what is good and joyful in the world.
So I’ll turn on Julie Andrews and remind myself what I love most.
A– Art. Impressionist and romantic, still life and landscape, oil and pastel, homemade or art galleries.
B — Bed and breakfasts. The connection with new people, the coziness of a home stay, and the anticipation of a year where I plan my very own bed and breakfast.
C — Chocolate. Godiva chocolate, chocolate croissants, Nelson Chocofellers chocolate and Rogers chocolates and Sweet Georgia Browns and Lindt chocolate. I’ll take Toblerone or Ferrero Rocher. Just chocolate.
D — Dogs and Drinks. Nature walks are necessary with our Great Pyrenees. Which requires nature therapy every day, tromping through snow, enjoying the sights outside our windows, as we are outside our windows. Then arriving home to a cup of steamy tea or a sip of the new Christmas gin.
E — Eggs. Homemade eggs. Eggs for baking, eggs for Saturday omelets, eggs to sell. Ameracauna blue eggs. Brown eggs. Eggs from my own chickens.
F –Family, groan. But obviously I think this. There’s no way to enjoy all the little things quite so easily when you have eyes of little ones to see this entire season through.
G — Globes, snow globes, the golden globes, topographical globes for geography, the snow globe I feel I live in when I look outside my living room window when the snow falls.
H — Home, and actually staying here. Amen to staycations and non-extracurricular days, and actually ‘home…schooling.’
I — Interests, passing or permanent, random or structured, we can pursue them all as homeschoolers, parents and children alike.
J — John Holt and John Taylor Gatto and Julie Bogarts, three homeschooling mentors who focus me on my homeschooling freedoms.
K — Kindling fires. To sit by while reading, writing, enjoying a nip, chatting, listening to music.
L– Leisure. If there’s anything about the Christmas holidays I enjoy most, it is leisure. Lights. Something magical about Christmas lights.
M — Moosletoe. Daddy moose forgets to bring home a Christmas tree so he twirls his moosestache into a tree wrapped in lights all night long before Santa arrives. Yup, you’ll love it too. M for mornings of mugs of coffee, meditation and yoga, snuggles on the sofa with books in front of the fireplace in pyjamas.
N — Nature. It brings us back to a quiet, settled spirit. The cheapest of therapy.
O — Obvious Christmas gift ideas. Not scanning internet sites for endless hours.
P — Pinterest, for creative inspiration and Podcasts, for encouraging reminders.
Q — Let’s move on to R…
R — Recipes, and teaching kids recipes.
S — Snow. Somewhere between October and December, the kid’s enthusiasm for being outside declines…’nothing to do’ is the old refrain. Me, I still find a way to garden. But when the snow hits…sledding and cross country skiing…fun!
T — Time. To re-create. Leave the academic routine for January, the extracurricular schedule too. Teas for afternoon studies, and Christmas teas and cookie exchanges with friends.
V — Vegetarian offerings: a healthy fast food restaurant in my town, yum yum. And vegan brownies, they are the only vegan go-to food that I would happily go-to.
X — Yeah, I got nothing. Let’s move on to Y…
Y — Yesterday’s dinner: gotta love leftovers when we cook as often as our family.
Z — Zwieback from my Mennonite Grandma’s kitchen and the nostalgia of childhood Christmases, and of course, irrepressible Zeal for the future.
No matter the mountains we have had to climb this past year, or ones we might need to climb next year, we can zealously acknowledge the things that bring us joy.
“Climb every mountain, ford every stream, follow every rainbow, until you find your dream“