And by the way, those who know me know this limited shopping thing is quite a departure from my early days. In my family, shopping was - is, in fact - almost an Olympic event. And time was, I could have easily medaled in it. ;)
But something miraculous happened as I aged, and faced some very real problems and challenges. Those things much of my family holds dear; the expensive clothes and designer labels, the big cars and bigger houses, the first-class travel, and so on - became insignificant. Oh, some of them would tell you it's because I just haven't worked hard enough; that all the trappings are unimportant to me because they are unattainable, and shame on me for not wanting and having them.
But that's not it.
My treasure just lies somewhere else. It lies in everyday moments and experiences. In watching the first snowfall. In cuddling a kitten. In preparing a meal for people I love. In self expression. In spending time with my husband and daughter and dear friends. These things are priceless. And at the end of my life, I know I will not wish I had more things. But I will wish I had more time.
So despite the need to work, I am determined to carve out some of that precious time this season - to see the lights, to spend an afternoon in the city with John, to listen to carolers, to knit and stitch, and to create art which speaks to the blessings of this beautiful season. To be mindful.
I think I've made a decent start, at least in the art department. Someone very kindly commented about this piece - a tea tray - on Facebook, saying they could tell I enjoyed painting it. I did indeed, and it made me so happy think it shows...
It was a commission (my favorite kind, with very few guidelines), and I'm looking forward to sending it to its new home this week.
Another piece which reflects the many blessings of the season will be offered on Friday night's EHAG Emporium...
I wanted to create something infused with winter magic, and hope I've succeeded.
Upcoming pieces include a winter hare, a "Cat Carol" inspired piece, some small trinket boxes, and a large hearth basket. But in between, I'll be soaking up all the beauty and good cheer I can manage, spending time with people I love, and refilling the creative well.
Back very soon, and in the meantime, I hope you are able to take some time yourself to enjoy the blessings of this most wondrous season. I'll leave you with this...