Twiggy Wreath and a Soapbox Rant

WARNING: The thought for this post had very little with how it ended up. Somehow each year about this time I get on my soapbox and rant for a bit. I wasn’t going to publish it but, what the heck. Read it at your own risk.

It wasn’t Halloween, hell school hadn’t even started yet and some places where putting out Christmas décor. Now that Black Friday is upon us (which I will be boycotting for the 12th year in a row) it’s almost time to start thinking about Christmas. Personally I wait until the first day of Advent to put up decorations. It drives me absolutely CRAZY that Christmas for most is nothing more than blinking lights, glitter and gifts, God forbid you don’t get a mountain of presents that were purchased in an overcrowded store full of crabby people. (Most of who are crabby because of the crowds, noise and the fact they are so wrapped up in spending money they don’t have to fill what is sometimes an obligation) The service can sometimes be awful because the poor person working has been harassed by many “Scrooges and Scroogets” because the shelves don’t match the ad and so on and so forth. Not to mention those out spoken few who don’t celebrate the holidays and want everyone to know “but get the hell out of the way it’s the last one and they aren’t taking rain checks.”

Just the thought exhausts me. I have no interest.

What happened to Jesus and family? Isn’t that why all this ridiculousness began in the first place? Weren’t families gathering to celebrate the birth of Christ not the ugly sweater Aunt Bertha trampled Sally to get from the sale rack first?

I know some are reading this thinking “yep that’s right” and others are ready to bombard me with anti-religion crap and so much more. Ok, for a brief moment lets go there. (I’m giving you the “I dare you glare” right now if you can’t feel it.)

A super quick over view, way back when, Constantine declared the catholic religion the religion of the empire causing all the pagan priests to become catholic priests bringing with them their pagan traditions. Which is one reason there are a few Catholic traditions that coincide with pagan traditions. There’s a ton of history, changes, reforms ect. That you can google on your own. I’m not here to preach about this at all!

By the way this is not up for comment, debate or rebuttal. It will be a waste of time as I will delete them without reading them. This is so far from the post I had planned.

Now back on track. Jesus is the reason for the season. Yes, I like glitter and lights just as much as the next gal. You can bet I will be putting a little of both out for the season. Growing up our lights outside were blue. A big star on the side of the house with a couple strings leading your eyes down to a manger scene in our back yard. It could be seen both out our window but through the bare trees from the road. Everyone that traveled that road often, knew when the lights were on Advent had started. In the house we had a tree and another small manger scene. The small manger scene was always a privilege to set up. Where to put, Mary, Joseph, Jesus, the camels and all the other pieces. That was a constant reminder of what was to be celebrated.

Gifts from my house are done with care. They are mostly homemade with love and thought. The ones that must be bought are done so with care as well. This year my family is doing things a little different then years prior, we drew names for gifts. We are all getting older, we don’t need much and with growing families the cost of gifts can get overwhelming. My sister is working two jobs, going to school full time and just moved into her first apartment. Although gifts are not expect or required to celebrate Christmas there is an underlying obligation to give, even when giving is from the heart and something you want to do there is still the feeling of “I should get something for him and then her and I know I haven’t talked to them lately but I would like to do something to let them know I still think about them ect.” Before you know it your buying a gift for everyone on the Christmas card mailing list! So, in short drawing names relieves the some of the gift stress.

Don’t get me wrong I like to give gifts, I like to see the surprise and happiness that even the smallest gift can bring. Doesn’t matter if it’s Christmas for a rainy day. My problem is I don’t have the funds to give as I would like, even the homemade gifts take supplies. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in this feeling either. So more guilt, because I can’t give as I feel people deserve.

For my children I would like to stick to  this for our gifts to them:

Something to Wear, Something to Share

A Need and A Want.

And they choose something they don’t play with anymore to donate.

I don’t want them to go to school and feel like the other kids got way more (which they might anyway) but I don’t want them to get lost in the meaning of Christmas either. Not to mention our house is small and less is usually more.

I will admit I have more Christmas decorations than all other holidays combined and with this being our first Christmas in the new house a bunch of decorations will be donated this year too. Each year I try to get my family to focus a little more on true Christmas and family and less on the commercial side of things. I think more of that is needed by all, but that’s just me.

Well, that was quite the “soap box” I started this post with the idea of telling you about some very plain and simple seasonal decorations not just for Christmas, I had put together with the branched and twigs from the tree in the kitchen. Christmas decorations don’t need to be glittery and overdone.

So here’s the first, nothing fancy  and can be used year round if you please.

Start with one flexible twig. Tie the ends together, this will be the frame twig. Using the jute to secure the twigs in place, wrap the jute around a new twig and the frame twig. Every couple wraps add a new twig. Continue like this all the way around. And there you have it!

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You suffered through my Christmas soap box for a twiggy idea. I promise to keep my preaching to a minimum.

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