Monday, 14 December 2015

Winter Festivals.

I love the festivities at this time of the year, when its dark, gloomy and the nights draw in far too quickly.  The crafting, the lights, candles, decorations, preparations for feasting, wonderful!  It brings light to a dark period of winter, and fills the heart with hope for the days that will soon begin to slowly get longer.

This year my son requested we stay home rather than visit friends for Yule.  I miss them terribly, staying home, however,  has allowed us to be part of a wider winter festival here at Rose Howey.  One family in the house is Jewish, and so we have joined in the Hanukkah celebrations, culminating in tonight, when we lit all the candles, listened to the blessing and ate J's wonderful latkes, apple sauce and vegan sour cream.  The children played the traditional game of dreidel, and the shape gave me an idea for a crafting session, which we enjoyed before the candle lighting.
The kids picked up the game really quickly, and minus the odd bit of squabbling, had great time playing.
I cut strips of paper into the dreidel shape, provided the children with tissue squares, glue and glitter and left the to decorate to their hearts content.  The children were a little heavy handed with the glue, (and glitter) so I'll need to wait till tomorrow before stringing the driels up and adding them to our Winter Festival Branch in the events room.  
They also made a few more snowflakes.  Again using the strips of cardboard, I simply anchor them in the middle with a split pin, and they decorate them.  Very pretty, and a nice change from paper snowflakes.

Rye and me put up our Yule tree today too; a wonderful eclectic mixture of traditional christmas iconography; stars, santas, snowmen, reindeer, colourful baubles, along with decorations Rye has made and ones I've crocheted, including a couple new wire decorations I made yesterday, and  bought pagan decorations of fairy doors, Goddess and hares.  I've left the top of the tree free for now; I plan to make a wire and crochet sun tree topper.  The children in the house also found a very large evergreen branch that was blown off a tree in the recent wild winds, it now adorns one of the walls in the events room, and we will add decorations to it, and pop our hand made gifts to each other under it.

Plans for Yule celebrations, include more crafting and decorating of the events room with greenery, paper chains, popcorn garlands, decorating the yule log to burn, including adding wee notes of wishes of things we want to leave behind us.  We watched the Hog Father last night, and have lots more seasonal dvds to watch together.  We are also planning a wonderful feast, including sun bread, and wassailing.
Eye of God using copper wire and glass beads

Rye is visiting with his dad after Yule until the morning of his birthday, normally I would become very much like a hermit; but this year I've been persuaded to join in Mexican Christmas (vegan mexican meal), which will mostly be adults - so I imagine that will be fun and raucous.

These are the times when I'm reminded of the beauty and joy of co-op living.  The coming together of different family's traditions to create a wholly new tradition that is the spirit of Rose Howey.  The sharing of histories, traditions, knowledge, each individual adding their personal touches.  I have dreamed of living co-operatively all my life, and sure, in my dreams the co-op is deep in the countryside - Rose Howey is the perfect compromise, the advantages of a city on our doorstep yet surrounded by green spaces and trees.
We are very fortunate.

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