In Mid-December

stitched star ornament

Every year, I seem to wait for just the right moment to start my Christmas preparations. Starting too soon makes me think of the the way stores roll out holiday decorations earlier and earlier every year. But I like to start early enough so that I can enjoy the spirit of the season and build those cozy feelings that are essential to the holidays. I can never quite get the timing right. Ideas for baking, decorating and giving come to me when it is practically too late to accomplish all of them. I always think: next year I’ll start sooner. So far that hasn’t happened.

But here we are in mid-December and, while I would like to be more organized, maybe this is the best time to just enjoy the season. I think of the cookies we bake, the foods we serve, the way that families gather this time of year and the importance of these traditions that knit us together. Then there are the years when traditions seem like a burden or they fall by the wayside. I remember the year that someone stuck a sombrero on the top of our family’s Christmas tree, then there was the time that we decorated a ficus tree instead of a fir. Momentary decisions that made us smile, made life easier and are still woven into the tapestry of my memories.

So this is the year that I stitched together stars for our tiny tree. Maybe I’ll hang them next year, too, or maybe I will make something else. Our Christmas shrub is an upgrade from the Christmas branch that Ray and I have had for the past few years. The stars are a little too big for the tiny tree, but I love the look of imperfect stitching and the way that the colors and textures contrast. I cut the shapes out of two layers of white fabric and tucked a bit of cotton quilt batting in the middle. The tight stitches of the sewing machine bind it all together.

Maybe next year I will start sooner and get more done, but it is fun to create and decorate when inspiration strikes.