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Posts Tagged ‘Christmas trees’

A Rose Called Heaven A near-leafless rose stem, cut from its mother bush, sits alone in a jar of water on a cold window sill. Even though the words “Don’t Forgetta” are embossed on the jar, time passes with little attention paid to it or to its contents. Despite its forlorn situation, a feeling of anticipation and hope permeates the air that surrounds it. Eventually hope blossoms into joy, when tender new growth appears on the stem. The cutting came from a rosebush named Heaven. Come spring, when the sky is brilliantly blue and the warm sun welcomes new growth, this stem, this little piece of Heaven, will be lovingly planted and looked after. My little dog Romeo will finally be a part of Heaven. The end of one thing becomes the beginning of another.

The New Year brings promises of new beginnings, but we should not forget those same promises are ours every single day. Every morning when we wake up, there is hope. Each new day showers us with gifts of fresh starts and endless possibilities. The quality of our lives and that of others are determined by the choices and decisions we make each day. Hope, promise, and a new beginning exists every day, not just at the beginning of the year.

#1 – Prayer of Intention
Prayer of Intention A few years ago a friend gave me a note card with a simple prayer printed on it. I keep it on my bathroom mirror, so that I can be reminded of the promise within me and the blessing of each new day.

Prayer of Intention

I welcome this day and give thanks for all of the gifts and the blessings that I am, that I give, and that I receive.

I am filled with grace, joy and possibility. I celebrate, embrace and bless this life and my place in it.

#2 – Traveling in 2014
11 Places To Go In 2014 If it’s your intention to do some traveling this year, you might want to check out CNN’s 11 Places to Go in 2014. Travel to Iceland to see what NASA scientists predict as “the most spectacular display for the the next decade” of Northern Lights. If you’re the athletic type, New Zealand might be the place for you to visit. The 2,500-kilometer Nga Haerenga cycle trail will be completed this year.

#3 – What To Do With Christmas Trees
10 Uses for Your Dead Christmas Tree Now that Christmas has passed, what do you plan to do with your dried out Christmas tree? Throw it in the trash? I hope not. From This Old House Magazine comes this article on 10 Uses for Your Dead Christmas Tree.

#4 – New Upcycling Ideas for the New Year
Paint Chip Clock Why stop at re-purposing your Christmas tree? Start the New Year off with the mindset of upcyling as many things as you can. To help you get started, here are 200 Upcycling Ideas That Will Blow Your Mind.

#5 – A New Beginning
“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.”
Seneca

Happy New Year! Now go and spread joy!

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Crystal snowflakes sparkle as they dangle from chandeliers, Santa guides his sleigh from high above his lookout in the family room, and Christmas fairies gently perch on the mantle above the stove top to supervise holiday cooking. My home seems to come alive during the holidays.

One of the first things I rush to decorate every year is my kitchen tree. It’s a small tree that stands near my bookcase of cookbooks and it’s covered with measuring spoons and measuring cups, cinnamon hearts and gingerbread men, cookie cutters tied with ribbons, and cookie dough ornaments. It’s a happy, homey-type of tree.

Some of my fondest memories are centered around Christmas trees. As a young child I remember stringing the giant and hot Christmas lights around and around the tree and then throwing the lead tinsel up in the air and watching it land on little precipices of evergreen.

Then when I got married, a Christmas tree became a luxury item, because we lived off of my meager salary while my husband was in graduate school. We bought a tree to decorate – it was only a three-footer, but it was our first three-foot tree! And amazingly enough, when we stood it on a crate it became a five-foot giant! With no money for ornaments, I remember crafting my own out of dough, wood, and whatever material I could find cheaply. For the garland, I patted myself on the back for cleverly thinking of stringing foam packing peanuts on dental floss. From far away my garland really did resemble strands of popcorn.

With the birth of each of my children came new tree decorating traditions. Every year I purchased an ornament for each child that represented some milestone in his life for that year. Our family tree has become filled with Sesame Street characters, Disney characters, unique child-crafted ornaments made from pine cones, macaroni, toilet paper rolls, etc., dog-related ornaments, sports-related paraphernalia, ornaments picked up from our family vacations, school mascots, symbolic ornaments such as cars (representing driver’s licenses) and mini beer steins or mini champagne bottles (celebrating 21st birthdays). You name it and we probably have it on our tree! As old as my kids are now, they still ask me what their ornament for the year is and I have to admit it is getting more difficult to find those special ornaments that represent significant moments in their adult lives!

Would I trade my family’s memory tree filled with rag-tag, random ornaments for a designer tree? Never in a million years! When I first decided to have a tree like this for our family, my thought was that as each child grew up and finally had a home of his own, he could take his childhood collection of ornaments with him. Hopefully, as he reflects on his ornaments, each child will remember the happy moments in his life and the love our family shares.

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