Sunday, December 26, 2010

Good Wishes to All!

Good afternoon, Dear Readers!  I'm emerging from a leftover-turkey-induced coma to wish you all a happy holiday season.  Whatever you celebrate at this time of the year, I hope it has been/is/will be full of joy and good cheer! 

Have a fun (and safe) secular New Year!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Giveaways and Milestone Post

Posting a second time today for two important events!

First of all, my friend Magaly is having two giveaways:  A Llewellyn’s Witches’ Datebook and an illustrated bible.  Check out Pagan Culture to win!

Secondly, I didn't realize it, but the Holiday Update entry I posted earlier today was my 100th post!  Yay for me!

Holiday Update

I had a long talk with DH last Friday night, and I managed to convince him that we really had had enough of being unreasonably cold for this year.  The result--we're not going camping over Yule.  That being decided, we went on to talk about decorating issues.

Are we not in the holiday spirit because we haven't decorated, or have we not decorated because we're not in the holiday spirits?  This was the question.  We decided to start finding the answer by forcing ourselves to make plans for a Longest Night celebration (a concept stolen from Jacqueline Carey's Kushiel's Dart series).  Here is our list:

1.  Dinner (We'll spend the day cooking a grand feast for two.)
2.  A trip down to Niagara Falls, to enjoy their holiday lights.
3.  Ritual baths.
4.  Yule Ritual
5.  A trip out to our very own "dark spot" to (weather permitting) gaze at Yule constellations and, of course, the lunar eclipse.
6.  Back home to greet the dawn.
7.  A celebratory breakfast, with mimosas and Mexican pancakees  (largely prepared the day before)

After making this grand plan, we decided to deck the halls after all.  We're still not hanging fairy lights, but we've got the tree upstairs and the wreaths hung, and we'll finish the decorating tonight, including the ritual room and the altar.  (I'll try to remember to post pics.)

Now I'm just hoping I can stay awake for everything!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Holiday Blahs

Sorry I haven't written in a while, but I've had fairly little to write about.  Unless you count being cold, cold, cold after our furnace went out and the subsequent replacement of said furnace.  Not really interesting stuff.

I was talking to my mother yesterday, and she has about a gazillion activities planned for the next couple of weeks.  Me?  I don't have a one.  Nor am I upset about that--I just can't seem to get into the holiday spirit this year.  (I think it was the whole furnace problem that really put a damper on things, and maybe feeling down for US Thanksgiving started it.)

At any rate, we haven't decorated, not at all.  We haven't put the tree up or made our library-turned-ritual-room seasonally appropriate or put the wreaths up.  We certainly haven't put up holiday lights.  Even our altar sits bare and unadorned.  And with every day that passes, the very idea of doing any of it grows more futile.

We're playing with the idea of camping for Yule.  I'm really wondering about it after being cold all last week, but DH is really excited by the notion.  If we do, it means we won't have not-decorated the house in vain--we won't be here to have enjoyed the decorations anyway!

That thought actually does cheer me!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow!!!

We got our first snowfall here in Southern Ontario today!  It's not much, and it's too warm for it to stick, but I'm still happy and cheerful about it. 

That first snowfall always puts me in a good mood--comes from growing up without it, I suppose.  I was eighteen before I saw my first real snow--12 inches that lasted all of a day and a half before it melted!  Before that, I'd seen an inch or so just twice in the South Texas town where I grew up, both times falling overnight and melting by noon the next day.  Over the next few years I lived in Austin, Texas, and I saw it again only a handful of times, none of it lasting for more than a day or two. And there was the one glorious time when I vacationed in New Mexico over the winter holidays--when we got to an area in the mountains with 2-3 feet of snow on the ground, I got out of the car and literally cried at the beauty of it.

We didn't get much snow in the Lower Mainland when we lived in BC, either, although the year it fell on Christmas' Eve was truly magickal.  Other than that, one year it snowed for almost two weeks straight--a heavy, wet snow that made it almost impossible to lift a full snow-shovel.  (Those more savvy than I informed me that it was too wet to be "proper" snow.)  But living there, we could drive to real snow--the Coast Mountains are just over an hour's drive away, and the "Ski Hills" are just outside of town.  They're called "hills" because they're so low--the lowest, Grouse Mountain, has an altitude of only 853 meters (2,800 feet.)  With places like the world class Whistler Ski Resort nearby (2182 m (7160') and 2240 m (7347'), respectively, that's LOW.)  Still, there's plenty of snow on those "hills"--it's where I first cross-country skied, where I learned about snow-tubes and toboggans, where the locals go for a quick afternoon's or evening's skiing.  It's not the same as looking out your window and seeing it fall, though.

Silicon Valley, California, was another place we didn't see a lot of snow.  None, to be exact.

And then we moved here, to Ontario.  I saw my first white Christmas here.  For 4-6 months out of the year I can look out my window on any given day and see snow on the ground, if not actually falling.  I can go out cross country skiing or snow shoeing any weekend I want to do so (and since I've been feeling better we might even be able to actually do it this year).  We even bought our own snowshoes about three years ago!

So the locals, who did grow up with it, tend to groan when it snows, but I cheer.  (Okay, if it's still snowing in May I may get a bit grumpy with it, but for a long, long while I love it.)

I don't even really mind shoveling it, that's how much I love it!