It tickles me this time of year, whether we are home in the states or [like now] living abroad. Christmas fills the air. We have a little tree with blinking lights, I bought a few little votives from the euro store, and we started an 'ornament making initiative.' Because we are far from home---without our boxes of Christmas decor, and with no intention of spending lots of cash on decorations---we decided to make our own ornaments this year.
A few years ago, Caleb did just that. I still have his slinky-green crepe paper-inspired wreath ornament. And we prize the ornaments from James' mom---the hand-painted wooden ornaments she made for us over 10 years ago. And I have a few token ornaments from wise preschool teachers, who knew my sons' tiny photos encased with glitter and ribbons would bring tears to my eyes every year thereafter. And although we made the decision to make ornaments based on our offshore predicament---we are quickly realizing it was a better idea than we ever imagined.
The boys are using wires and soda cans to make ornaments (and consequently drinking more soda than usual... hmmm). Anthony made a gorgeous Santa Claus and employed coke cans and green paperclips to fasten his red boots and green
gloves. We have soda can globe ornaments, ribbons, copper wire art ornaments and a coke squiggly as our stand-in tree topper. Inspiration comes in waves, and even James has gotten in on the act.
Don't get me wrong. We have had novel circumstances rubbing up against us our whole lives... it is just that we selected to be in this one (for better of for worse!). And we don't always get to choose what life hands us (hmmmm, rarely?). So we soak up the times when we can choose... though I think there are always serendipitous moments waiting to be found.
All of that to say this: regardless of circumstances, we hope your holidays are shaping up to be full of twinkling lights and peaceful moments, well-wishing cards, merry music, loud laughter and loving friends and family.