As I reflect on the holiday season, I am reminded of some holiday traditions that make this time of year so magical for so many of us. These traditions, have a way of bringing people together, help the community, and make our own lives merry and bright.
My holiday tree is an important part of celebrating the season. Bringing some of the outdoors in, helps to add that bit of green in days that are often filled with darker hues. Historically, trees were decorated with candles, and edible treats. Whatever the reason for this tradition in your life, the goal is the same, it is meant to call to mind that spring is to come, add a little light to the dark winter, and enjoy the spices of the season (with a little sugar, too). After many years of buying my tree at the Kiwanis Christmas tree lot who stopped hosting the lot this year, I decided I wanted to find a way to keep this tradition alive while taking into account the events that made this past year so memorable. So again this year, I opted to purchase my small living tree at a local nursery and after the holiday I'll take it back to be donated to the recent fire victims of Sonoma County. This feels like the right thing to do and it helped get me in the spirit of giving.
For many years Guide Dogs for the Blind has been an organization I proudly support. I give to veterinary care which is so important, because their clients never pay for the vet care their guide dogs need. This organization does amazing work and changes people's lives. This year I've added a new tradition. Our office is collecting food for The Redwood Food Bank, which I've contributed to in the past and I plan to step up my giving. This year brought so much sadness to so many, but giving and helping in any way that I can makes this holiday better.
On New Years Eve, the festivities continue with my favorite dinner party traditions. My favorite dinner to share with friends and family is the "C Dinner". The C dinner consists of Champagne, Cracked Crab, Caesar Salad and Chocolate. This is a great way for me to host dinner in a way so there is a little bit of everything, that way each individual will find something that they truly enjoy. Also, I feel as though it is a way to celebrate Northern California and end the year partaking in those drinks and foods that make this place so delicious. How lucky we are that we live near such abundance! Help support our local economy through friends and feasting.
I love the cold clear weather around the holidays. It's so lovely to take long walks with the sun low in the sky and take time just admire the beauty of the season. With the leaves off the trees, you notice things you hadn't before and the late afternoon light through the last of the fall leaves is magical.
Decorating the house and yard are part of the fun that kicks off the holidays for me. Taking a walk in the woods and finding fallen tree branches can make great sculptural pieces to wrap lights on and place on my deck or front porch. Smaller ones can be used inside along with some of your own decorations. Using those aspects of the environment that connect me to this community, helps to bring it all together, rounding out the year in love.
I try to make each year a little different, yet weave a common thread of love, peace and warmth into the season, and into my life. So, snuggle up with something warm to drink, and turn on “It’s a Wonderful Life”, reflect, and recharge for an even better year ahead. With gratitude I wish you all Happy Holidays, good health and peace in 2018.