Sunday, December 21, 2008

humble/ fancy

block print card by young Leslye and a handcrafted German sheep

This weekend has been filled with many activities - from a quite evening at home looking through old photographs and old handmade Christmas cards, attending a magnificent performance of traditional Chinese dance "Chinese New Year Spectacular" with some friends at our new Cobb Performing Arts Center, shopping at the crowded mall searching for the perfect gifts, wrapping presents together and then watching the movie "The Fall" (if you haven't seen it I recommend it). While looking through my childhood photos and cards I remembered the simpler times we enjoyed when we made our own cards and ornaments and made many of our gifts; we enjoyed staying home and baking together and putting together puzzles; sitting, warm, by a fire listening to my mom read a Christmas story. I don't remember there being a lot of t.v. watching and frantic Christmas shopping or the desire to always be on the go (of course, that's a child's recollection). It seems it was a slower paced life back then - at least that's the way I see it now in comparison. I'd like to slow down and enjoy the simple things like we did when I was a child.  / today was somewhat stressful for me - i have a hard time knowing what to get people, especially when they give no hints (mom!), and that makes me stressed. but mom and i did end up finding a few things that we think people will like and then we wrapped presents together. i like wrapping things so that even the most ordinary looks special. remember playing the white elephant gift exchange game when you wrap the gift to look all big and fancy when what's inside is usually just a silly little gimmick? we play the white elephant every year in our family but we give nice gifts. i've been to many a party where this game is played and i've gotten some really crazy stuff - sometimes funny, sometimes embarrassing, and every once in a while you get something you actually like. have you played this game?

The above is one of the handmade cards from my younger years. Inside the card I included this poem (I don't remember where I got it):

Animals knew Him
In His first sleep,
Donkey and cow,
The wool-soft sheep.

The humblest beasts
Gave Him their heat,
And shared the straw
Beneath their feet.

Creatures were kind
In that cold place.
They gave Him warmth.
He gives us grace.


ELK said...

what a touching post from the photos to the words. the poem in the card lovely

funny I am less stressed as the family ages ...I have changed and we are pretty low key ~ I do not do malls!

spread your wings said...

Elk, we don't generally do malls either - stay out of them if at all possible - I think that's why it seemed a little stressful yesterday. We like to shop etsy, and or small local boutiques and antique markets.

Char said...

I love the verse - it's amazing how many activities tie up our time at this point in the season. I always look forward to the quiet that allows me to celebrate the reason we have the live to celebrate. warm wishes to you and yours this holiday and always.

Claire said...

i had a cup of tea with my mom today after we completed our last bit of christmas shopping. i thought of you two and shared with her that i had just added you to my daily blog reads.

leaca said...

beautiful post.

Gayle said...

This post is so wonderful! I hope that when my daughter is grown-up we still share the things that you both do!

In my husband's family we do a gift swap, which is a lot of fun. All of the gifts have to be inexpensive. Some are funny, some are practical.


The photos on the left are taken by me, Leslye, the mother. The photos on the right are taken by my daughter, Taylor – unless otherwise noted. Comments are always welcome. thanks
If you care to visit, I, Leslye, have another blog - AutumnSun where I ramble around different paths and pleasures of my own.