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    Monday, December 12, 2016

    2nd Yule at SilverHouse - An Adventure in Building Traditions

    Hello folks!

    Welcome to our second holiday season at SilverMoon!

    This year, thanks to a visit from D's parents and a giftcard for my birthday from my mom, we really upped the holiday spirit in the house. Since I didn't come here with a lot of things holiday related I've been slowly  building up my seasonal decor by getting one really nice piece a year. Last year was a blown glass Christmas tree in a clear ball, this year was a layered forest scene made out of several thin sheets of wood.

    The rules for holiday decorations here are:
    1. No loose glitter. Glitter gets everywhere and I hate cleaning it up, especially if it keeps hiding in various nooks in the house.
    2. Dog friendly. The last thing anyone wants is a sick dog - so decorations with lots of loose parts, things that look like chew toys, or tiny decorations that could be swallowed in one gulp are all no-go.

    Two rules. That's not so bad. ;-)

    Last year's ornament - blown glass Christmas tree

    Two piece deer and heart ornament

    Perfect Christmas tree - comes with lights and easy to store!

    You can tell from the photos that I also prefer things that are hand-made out of wood, glass, or ceramic. I also really like deer and elk images over little Lord Jesus. I've seen deer and elk and they are amazing, but Jesus imagery, while a concept of rebirth that I appreciate, doesn't speak to me as much. Plus, I enjoy having a religiously ambiguous home where I hope everyone can feel welcome.

    The other things I like to think about before getting a new piece are where the item came from, who made it, how durable the item seems to be, and how storable it is. It isn't like we have a ton of room in the tiny house, so setting aside three feet or more for an actual tree wouldn't work on both the space level, and that I just don't want a dead tree disintegrating in my home. So - things like garlands, recycled pieces that D grew up with, and the flat-pack lit Christmas tree with two reindeer carved into it work really well in that they don't take up much space, show really well, and will all fit neatly into storage after January.

    One of the fun things about living in a new place is setting new traditions. We talk about things like when to set up decorations, who does what job, how to hang the lights, and when decorations should come down. We each have our own family traditions that we are used to and just feel right - to us. D is used to Christmas stuff going up Thanksgiving evening. I'm used to things happening Christmas week or even Christmas eve. T is about a week or so after Thanksgiving. This year we set up the Yule decorations the first weekend of December - which we all liked as a group compromise.

    D got out the boxes from his childhood, I went out and used my giftcard and brought home some new treasures, T helped me hang things and held the chair and untangled and tested the lights. Perhaps this is the start of a new tradition?

    What sort of traditions are in your house? What sort of ornaments do you own and why? Who made them? What is their history? What are your customs around the end of the year and dawn of another? How do you build traditions in a blended household?

    Next week we plan to visit ZooLights - pics and updates coming soon!

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