Since our Christmas decorations are still packed up from our move last May and are currently stored away as we live in a temporary apartment for now, we were presented with the unique opportunity of making all of our own decorations and ornaments this year. From the ranch we collected berries and branches and seeds while out on walks through Hill Country and made small arrangements with them for our Welsh jug and for a small door-swag with ribbon I picked up in Holland. And we decorated the tree with fragrant pomanders, strings of cranberries and popcorn, paper stars, glittery-pinecones and walnuts — all things we made together — reminding me again that simple and homemade is often times more lovely than store-bought, especially in the memory-making department.
Saint Nicholas Day this year was celebrated a few days late as we found ourselves scrambling to get from point A to point B in order to meet work-arrival deadlines for my husband, all while driving two cars and three very small children across twelve-hundred miles.
We landed temporarily on a Hill Country Ranch while we waited for our temporary apartment (while we wait for our temporary house (isn’t everything temporary, really?)). And somehow, an impromptu celebration came together, surprising our children and surprising even myself and my loving husband. Though I had set aside special holiday items for packing in our cars and taking with us, I had no idea how we would celebrate or where we would be or what we would do or if we would even do anything for Saint Nicholas Day…. But when we arrived, I found that with just a few pieces of yarn and berries and branches and gentle, colorful wisps from surrounding bushes, a stage was already set, complete with adorning trees and leaves and woodland gems and prefect weather — and somehow the things I brought with us fit in just right. I could not have planned or hoped for anything better. It was all right there.
Honestly, these moves and this specific chapter of my life have felt profoundly sad at times– a household move between two countries and another one between two states all in less than one year (and a temporary inbetween-it-all apartment) is a whole lot of work, requiring constant courage and flexibility, especially with two very small children and an infant. And I so often struggle so much with fear about all of the unknowns, all of the things that could go wrong, all of the ways my children might be missing out on something special…. And yet always, always, along the way, there are a million reminders to me that God is with us, that even the smallest detail is taken care of, that this life is always filled with beautiful surprises…. and that all I have to do is be still and see.