We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started, And know the place for the first time. ~T.S. Eliot Four Quartets

21 December 2006

Christmas Break

artwork by J..

We're off to the family's house for a few days (these are my in-laws) and believe it or not, I do enjoy it. Since we lost our car we've been pretty stationary, but the folks do come to us, and on special occasions will pick us up and bring us to their house, which is about an hour away. My son loves going to grandma's and for me this is what makes the holiday season special, and will probably be what he remembers most(not the gifts). I know he will be getting a mini-mountain of gifts from grandma & grandad, but we tried to make them as meaningful as possible. It's also my daughter's first Christmas.

Its not always easy saying no to your children, but I realise I wouldn't be doing them any favours by indulging every whim. We have said no to too much branding, to remote controlled Daleks that will either break or lose their ability to entertain after two uses. After reading
Veronika Robinson's blog this past Saturday about the holiday season, I'm reminded about making conscious choices especially at this time of year. She writes:

"Celebrations like Christmas are a great way to make your 'conscious living' stamp known to family and friends. Don't be afraid of being considered different. You might just be giving someone else permission to escape the Commercial Christmas Prison. Many people don't like what's happening in our consumerist culture, but don't know how to change it. Show them it starts at home."

I'm not sure how pronounced we made that stamp this year, but we have been 'cultivating 'our family since the birth of son 6 years ago, and our daughter will be having simple and non-commercial toys. Thankfully the grandparents are also vegetarians and we can all enjoy Christmas dinner together.

I'll also be trying my hand at mulled wine this year. This is warm spiced wine, which I understand can be made in a variety of ways with ingredients local to the area, so here's what mine is likely to contain:
1 bottle fruity red wine (can also be made with white).
3-4 cloves stuck into the orange & lemon
a cinnamon stick or two
sliced orange and lemon
a vanilla pod
a couple of tablespoons of sugar
and a good splash of brandy.
I should add that it must be simmered gently, if you boil it, you spoil it! Cheers!

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