It’s a soft and quiet morning on our farm, animals snoozing in the early sunshine, chooks and geese up early looking for insects in the grass.
Last night I finished my final writing project of the year, sent it off to England, and felt all the stress of deadlines melt away, replaced with near giddiness because it’s finally time to celebrate. And that is a gift in itself.
Merry and bright. These are words that I treasure. For many years Christmas has been a sad time for me, one fraught with anxiety and deep grief and loss. I merely went through the motions, stuffing down the nausea and panic attacks that were brought on by near-constant triggers.
It’s different now. So different.
The journey I took this year has healed me so deeply that Yule is sheer joy to me.
I’ve loved figuring out a Christmas/Yule hodgepodge that truly reflects what brings me joy.
I’ve been reading fabulous children’s books and watching beloved old movies, for they are full of imagination and creativity and sheer fun. They highlight the magical, loving goodness in the world and remind me that I get the chance to create that in my life every single day.
I’ve been embracing my inner child by making art, so much art, drawing pictures, making stars out of rosemary sprigs, and decorating fallen logs with armloads of elder flowers for the unfettered happiness of it.
Bear has joined me in the simple pursuit of doing things that make us happy. He’s been painting medieval helmets, making medieval shields, and building the most gorgeous medieval high-backed chair. In between writing articles I go out there with him to design, wood-burn, and paint my own high-backed medieval chair, and we have the nicest time just hanging out with each other making cool things.
We bought a macadamia tree and a cherry tree for our Christmas trees, and today we’ll trim them with shiny baubles. Later we will plant them in the orchard and reap harvests of fat cherries and scrumptious macadamias for many years to come.
This afternoon I’m teaching him how to make Canadian butter tarts and he’s teaching me how to make Australian mince pies.
It makes me smile so big to see us not worry one smidgen about musts and shoulds and have-tos, just focusing on good, soul-nourishing things that delight us.
We’ve also loved spending time with our beloved medieval friends. Last week we got to spend a wonderful day with our Danish/Aussie Viking mates, Paula and Nikolaj. They made us a veritable feast of Danish Yule treats – spicy peppernuts, butter cookies piped in swirls of crunchy goodness, heavenly white wine glogg full of almonds, raisins, and whole spices, and bowls of creamy rice pudding with cherry sauce. It was just fabulous to sit outside on a hot Aussie summer afternoon, talking for hours about history and travel and gardens and building things and food, glorious food.
This week we get to spend Christmas Day with our Canadian Viking friends, feasting on home-raised turkey with all our favourite Canadian trimmings and desserts. Cannot wait!!!
And next weekend we’re having a whole gang of medieval folks over for 3 days of camping, bonfires, archery, medieval combat, a Middle Eastern feast, and our very own Yule Goat to hand out the pressies.
Merry and bright. Yes, at long last, it truly is. xo
Wishing you a beautiful holiday, dear ones, and much joy, real love, and deep peace in the New Year. xo