Dec 29, 2010

The Threshold of the Year

I was listening to a podcast yesterday that spoke about "liminal spaces" - those places that we think of as being between the worlds.  The edge of a beach where the water meets the earth.  The top of a mountain, where earth meets sky.  And it occurred to me that the time between Yule/Christmas and the secular New Year has always seemed like a liminal space to me.

The days after the gift-giving, the eating, the visiting and celebrating seem to be a threshold of sorts.  I feel as though I've left some things behind and am now stepping toward something new.  As a Pagan, I celebrate the new year at the end of the harvest season (on October 31st-November 1st.)  But there is something about breaking open a fresh calendar that just says 'new beginnings' to me.

I don't make resolutions, but I do spend some time thinking about how I'd like to grow in the next year.  There is often some bittersweetness around the holidays for me.  I love the gathering of the family, but it does force you to look back on how you've grown (or not) when people start asking you about what you've done during the year over turkey and stuffing.

Luckily I have grown in two small-but-important ways.  I don't feel like I have to impress anyone anymore, and I've learned to take some small moments for myself throughout the holiday madness.  Because of this, the last week went surprisingly well for me. 

I hope the holidays went well for all of you too - and that you had some very happy celebrations!

Now I step onto that threshold and think about the things I would like to manifest for this year to come.

Do you make resolutions or to-do lists for the new year? 

Dec 19, 2010

Winter Wishes

"It was a cold, bleak, biting weather, foggy withal, and he could hear the people in the court outside go wheezing up and down, beating their hands upon their breasts, and stamping their feet upon the pavement stones to warm them."  ~ Charles Dickens

Yes - I'm reading "A Christmas Carol" again.  On cold, snowy days like today, it's a perfect companion.  Plus it distracts me from the teetering pile of unwrapped gifts in the corner, and the rolls of wrapping paper glaring at me with distain.

Like many of my fellow bloggers, I'm having a hard time keeping up with posting in the midst of holiday activities and the regular work and bustle of my daily life.  But I am still here.  I've planned a giveaway, but have run out of time - so it will be a New Year event.  I also meant to post some of the soup recipes I've been trying, but that too will show up in January when I've had more time to take some pictures and try a few more lovely soups.

I am looking forward to Yule and the lunar eclipse that is going to take place.  I'm hoping for clear skies Monday night!  This will be a busy week to come, so just in case I don't pop by - I want to wish you all the happiest Yule, and a safe and wonderful Christmas! 

May you have every good thing come to you!

Dec 11, 2010

Tree Trimming Essentials


Helpful cat

Candy Canes

Yet another helpful cat

Booze & Eggnog
(Hey - I drove home in a blizzard.  You're lucky I didn't just put a straw in the Bacardi.)

How is your tree trimming coming?

Dec 5, 2010

Decorating and Decluttering

Photo courtesy of

I've finally managed to get some decorating done around the house, and waded my way through some piles of items I've been meaning to sort.  It always amazes me how much stuff one person can amass.

The other project I'm working on is clearing my bookshelves of my Pagan/witchy books in time for my cousin's visit on Christmas day.  While my parents, brother and friends have been aware of my beliefs for a while now, my extended family has not been informed.  Primarily because my extened family consists of extremely enthusiastic Baptists.  And because I don't want to be the next contestant on "Inquisition" - sitting in front of a panel of my uncles (one pastor and two deacons) and Jesus.

I love my family.  Really.  And I do enjoy their company.  So making things awkward by loudly proclaiming that I don't celebrate the birth of Christ anymore while hoisting a pinecone above my head and giving a speech about how Christians claimed Yule as their own doesn't sit right with me.  Plus - my mother would kill me if I ruined Christmas.  So there's that.

The only issue is - what the hell do I put on my bookshelves once all the Pagan books are gone?  Some artful arragements of the hundred-ish angel figurines my cousin has been gifting me for 15 or so Christmases perhaps.

Is there anything you hide when family comes to visit?  (Aside from the naughty movies.)