It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas
Let’s be honest, it’s been looking a lot like Christmas at Pretty Bird Farm since the week before Thanksgiving! I took three days off work in November to make garland, decorate our tree and sew Luffa sponges (what?). John reminded me this morning that it’s Winter Solstice, so what better time to do the winter update I have been planning all month!
And now we have Violet in our lives, it’s the best Christmas yet at Pretty Bird Farm! We have been living every weekend to the fullest – walking the local river towns, baking cookies with family and friends, and learning how to sit on Santa’s lap for the first time!
I love Christmas. I start living and breathing it, planning Christmas cards, shopping and thinking about decorating right around Halloween. This year I started dreaming of the holidays much earlier when this behemoth started growing in the garden:
Not every experiment in the garden turns out so successfully. Growing luffa was a lot of fun, and I really enjoyed making my own luffa sponges to hand out as party favors.
Most Christmases we put up a spruce tree because I am always attracted to the shape and promise of the strong branches holding our heavy ornaments. This year a Canaan Fir at Rosemont Tree Farm caught our eye. We have never had a tree drink so much water and drop so few needles. I think fir is our new Christmas standard!
Christmas wouldn’t be complete without a countdown. A few years ago I saw this beautiful Advent Calendar in a store that was literally $99. I thought to myself, I could totally make that for $20. So I did! I gathered felt, embroidery thread, paint and some Martha Stewart stencils and got to work. Each year I wind up a garland with greens from the yard. This year’s garland is made of yew and cedar.
We hung our stockings by the chimney with care, and decorated the mantle with more greens from the yard, a few paperwhites (I love these!!!), some leftovers from our Thanksgiving mantle (apple gourds: I could totally grow these), a few lemon cypress I hope to keep alive and some good old fashioned gold glitter pinecones:
The farm stand is also still in service, but not quite as full as it is in the summer time. We have been making wreaths and swags all month, and selling a few of the birdhouse gourds we grew last year. The chickens have really slowed down their egg production. We are only getting 2-4 eggs per day from twenty ladies. However, when we have eggs to share we put those out on the farm stand as well.
So, it’s four sleeps until Christmas and you would think we are all set right? Well, we are mostly. The gifts are wrapped, Christmas dinner is planned, the house is decorated and clean (shhh the baby is still sleeping!) but I have one last Christmas craft on my to-do list: Christmas Crackers.
I bought Christmas crackers years ago and I remember thinking they were a lot of fun. I feel like every retailer is selling them this year, but I am not that excited about the contents. Apparently a tissue paper crown, cheap plastic toy and cheesy joke is tradition!
Anyway, I have decided to make my own for Christmas dinner and as the winter solstice sun rose this morning, I did some inspirational web browsing. I thought they were just made from a tube and some wrapping paper, but there is also a small stick called a cracker snap that is only sold outside the US that adds a popping sound when the cracker is pulled a part. I tried searching for how to make my own but that just lead down a rabbit hole to making your own fireworks and other things we aren’t going to blog about. So, we will have to make our own enthusiastic popping sounds at Christmas dinner this year! Photos coming soon-wish us luck!
We hope Santa treats you well, and that you have a Very Merry Christmas!
Tiffany, John & Violet