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A Merry Wonky Christmas

This holiday season I’ve been delighting in the things that other people are doing. I scroll through Facebook and Instagram every day grinning at family pictures and Christmas tree gathering and sledding and baking and the wearing of crazy Christmas sweaters. I flip through magazines swooning at gorgeous trees and mantles dripping with evergreens and berries, sigh contentedly at pictures of snow and icicles, and feel a rumble in the ol’ tummy as I gaze rapturously at piles of truffles, glistening roast turkeys, and pieces of pie mounded high with whipped cream.
This year I simply don’t have it in me to do much, and Bear doesn’t mind one bit, so we’re kicking back, keeping things oh-so-simple, and enjoying the hustle and bustle of those around us.
For those of you following on Facebook, you’ll know this month has been particularly ghastly on our farm with horrendous storms wiping out my gardens, shredding our orchards and vineyard, and killing numerous animals. It has been quite heart-rending to see so much hard work and beloved animals be wiped out in just a few minutes of hail, ferocious wind, and fierce rain.
My hubs, Bear, injured himself badly with a triple-torn hamstring, poor guy, and he’s under strict instructions not to do anything for at least six weeks.
Then I learned that the chronic health issues I’ve been struggling with are due to injuries sustained in the Cult that were not treated properly.

Ugh. It’s been rough. I had to take some time just to feel all the feelings that such a string of difficulties elicits. Grief, rage, frustration, loss, helplessness – all those things we feel when our lack of control in this world is highlighted so glaringly.
And then I bucked up and took heart. There’s not a thing we can do about what has happened, but there’s a lot we can do about what will happen. And that’s pretty marvellous.

Bit by bit I’m repairing the damage done in my gardens. Ruined plants are tossed over the fence to be feasted on by the surviving goats and sheep, stalwart plant survivors are nourished and protected to be given the best chance of coming back, and I picked up a few new seedlings to replace the ones I lost. Soon I’ll start shoveling the drifts of leaves and detritus the wind piled up on my veranda and against the fences, and, when Bear is better, we’ll put the sheds back together that were flattened.

Both Bear and I have fantastic specialists who are helping us. He’s doing so much better already and that makes us very happy. Mine will be a longer road, but that’s OK. It’s a good road, a road fraught with a lot of pain for a while with the tri-weekly treatments, but one that is already showing great promise. I can’t tell you how lovely it is to sleep through the night most nights, to only be in pain after the treatments and not all day, every day, and to see this dear, resilient body start functioning properly and take in nutrients and be resistant to illness. I’m tired but deeply grateful.

Although most of our holiday plans have gone by the wayside, we have done a few things to make it special.

Oma and I have our hams brining with bay, juniper, cloves, and lot of black peppercorns, and soon they’ll be ready for smoking.

Today I bottled (and tasted!) the strawberry liqueur we made last month and it is gorgeous!!! The colour alone makes me happy, but the fragrance and taste make it absolutely divine. It’s too hot for alcohol right now – we’re in a blistering heat wave – so I just add a spoonful of the liqueur to a tall glass of cold soda water and it is delicious and refreshing.

We started a new advent tradition this year. Instead of a calendar, we burn a special Danish advent candle while Bear reads me a chapter from a book. It’s such a lovely way to slow down and connect over a shared story by candlelight.

We don’t have a tree this year, so instead I’ve been hanging decorations from door handles and cupboard knobs and drawer pulls. When the wind whips through there’s quite the festive dance that goes on as every ornament bobs and twirls in the breeze.

ornaments on old wood
The best part is spending time with people we love. We got to see some of our medieval friends last weekend and hope to see more over the next few weeks. We’ll be meeting up with other loves over cuppas and drinks, meals and little adventures here and there.

Yes, it’s a bit of a wonky Merry Christmas, but it’s a jolly good one nonetheless. xo

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Hotly Spiced - I’m sorry to hear you’ve had so much loss and destruction. How shocking. Good to know you’re both recovering even if that recovery is going to take some time. The strawberry liquor looks really good and I’m super-impressed with you brining and smoking hams xx

Emma - Have a really lovely wonky Christmas! Good luck with getting everything (and everyone poor hubs!) back on track. Emma 🙂

Rachel - I’ve been enjoying all the holiday lovelies via instagram too. After 18 months of looking and liking all sorts of beautiful things I couldn’t dream of creating myself, I can delight in others’ Christmas creations without feeling the need to defend my own lack of decor or rail at the world for starting too soon. I’ve stocked up on candles and made plans for where to hang the lights. That’s enough for this week. The tree will wait until the week after 😏 In the meantime, the photos of holly and berries and twinkle lights will keep getting all the red hearts.

I love the Danish advent candle! Setting aside a time to read by candlelight every night of December sounds so simple and peaceful. I’m glad you’ve found a new tradition that fits your life right now and caregivers to help with the mending. All the best for the holidays, and the healing of yourselves and your farm too!

Vannessa - Sometimes Krista the Universe just takes things out of our hands to make us take stock. Just use this time to do the simple things you can do together and with friends and I am sure come Jan you will be thinking it was one of the best Christmases you could have hoped for. Thinking of you sweetheart xx

Cathy - Sounds like a lovely Christmas to me Krista. I love the sound of your advent calendar.

Tandy | Lavender and Lime - Oh Krista, I must have missed the storm damage on FaceBook. I am so sorry. We had terrible floods in South Africa a few weeks ago and my friend’s daughter was caught in her car in them. As I have been in the same situation I know how scary that is. Have a restful December and take care!

Lorraine - Love your resilience and optimism. Love you 😘 I cannot imagine the rage you must feel particularly at this time of year. Big hugs, see you soon 😘

Karin@yumandmore - Oh Krista, sorry to hear of your troubles but glad things are on the mend and in dealable perspective. How hard for your two to lose part of what you worked so hard for and your frustrations against your past are more than understandable.
But you two are healing together with the strength of your love and goodness towards each other cradling you both. Lots of love and strength from far, far away. xox Karin

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