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Happy Holidays from the Hendrys


Happy Holidays from the Hendrys! It as been another merry year – all the better because we had oodles of homemade wine to celebrate with.

Christmas is certainly not about gifts for me, but this year I received a few very meaningful items, so I must show them off.

Denver made made me a broach of hammered silver that has a hand beaded piece attached. All portions of this creation were designed and made by her at school. I love it.

She also made me a hammered silver and a copper shawl pin. I almost bought one of these pins when we visited the fiber fair, but she talked me out of it, saying she could make me one out of something more permanent than aluminum. But after that day, I forgot about them completely. Meanwhile, she went back to school and worked out a design for one. Now, when I finish spinning my wool and make something to throw around my shoulders, I’ll have these nifty pins to hold it in place.  Wow.


She also made me some handcrafted silver earrings, but I don’t have a picture of them. Oops. I wish her work photographed better. Everything is so beautiful in person, and so original…

Mark and I were not exchanging this year (we are going to coffee school instead) but he said he made me something anyway. Since it was free he claims this isn’t breaking the “no gift” rule. That is debatable, but nevertheless . . . .

A week or so ago, he mentioned he and Kent went Christmas shopping for me. When I asked where they went, he grinned and said “In the woods.” So I was wondering what these two were planning. 
  
Here it is… they made me some Knot Birds. I collect Knot birds, but  I only have a few little, lumpy sparrows.  Nevertheless, I think they’re cool because it involves taking a chunk of scarred tree and turning it into a likeness of a bird so I always buy one when I see them in a festival or store.

But none are as unique (or meaningful) as these. Mark made me a peacock. He carved the head, used the knot as the body and made the tail out of a piece of ceder which he is working on in the workshop to make a coffee table.

Kent looked long and hard for a knot that he could make into a duck – my other favorite bird pet. He made me the most wonderful knot duck by carving a head and tail and putting nail heads in for eyes. 

I was thrilled. Homemade gifts are the best ever!





While I’m on the subject of gifts. This is the year Kent got his first car. A 2000 Mercury with leather seats, power everything and a sunroof. Lots of miles on it, but it is clean and sporty and a perfect first car for a kid. He was hopeing for a car, of course, but he didn’t think we were in a position to give him one at this time, so he was really overwhelmed. He wanted sone so badly. We parked it behind Mark’s truck and hid the key on the Christmas tree. When he found it (at the end of present opening) we all stood outside and shouted “Move that bus…” to reveal the gift. (We are all big fans of that stupid show Extreme Home Makeover, if you can’t guess) and don’t ya know, Mark drove his car out of the way to reveal the gift and Kent’s response was just like the people on the show. He cried. He hugged us for about ten minutes, hiding his face – overcome.

It was touching, and very, very fun.


Since moving here, my kids have changed. They are so down to earth, appreciative of their life, and thoughtful of us. They don’t have that sense of entitlement here that they had when we lived in a more cosmopolitan place. Anyway, Kent was really classy in expressing his gratitude, which made the gift all that more satisfying to give.
And everyone else was lovely too about what they gave and received too.
Now, Neva has disappeared for hours ago to play on her new Wii.
Denver went home to throw a load into her used washer and dryer and to make room for her new workbench for jewelery making. 

I had a few “make your own” sorts of gifts to give. Denver and Dianne both got everything to make homemade cordials themselves now – the book, the booze and the containers. And Di got a pressure canner and books and all the various supplies for canning because she has a successful garden and she’s expressed interest in learning to preserve. Not that I don’t enjoy sharing what I make, but every woman wants to play in her own kitchen. The problem is, getting all the paraphernalia to get started isn’t always easy. Anyway, they’re outfitted now.

Of course, there were the typical jackets, sweaters, books and games. It’s the American way… 

And of course, it wouldn’t be Christmas without food. Last night, I cooked. I veered from tradition this year and skipped the expensive beef tenderloin that I usually wrap in pastry. It’s fancy, but frankly, we’re not big meat eaters, and since it was just our family alone this year, I went for a chicken dish over a puffed pastry and stuffed mushrooms (Kent’s plea) and sherried fruit, corn pudding, broccoli, rice, and walnut salad.  The crew couldn’t help but poke gentle fun at me for my dessert display this year. I made a red velvet cake in the shape of a present, an eggnog flavored cheesecake, and a grasshopper mint pie. Must get the colors and flavors of Christmas in the mix, ya know. So it was a bit much for just us… but it was pretty and now I have something to share with the chickens tomorrow.
 

It is now midday. Mark is napping – I’ve just returned from the barn where I went to dote on my animals a bit.
This is my favorite part of Christmas.
I’m always a bit glad when the craziness is over. I like the quiet after the celebration. I like picking up paper, and putting things away, and clearing the breakfast dishes and having everyone disappear to rest. Then, I sit with a cup of coffee before the tree, thumb through a gift book (this year I got a wine making book and the game wineopoly) and amidst all the clutter, I contemplate the new year.

I think 2008 is going to be an important one. But that is subject for another blog.
In a few hours we will go to Dianne’s for her big dinner, my workload is over. Yippee. 
Merry Christmas to all. May your dearest dreams come true.



About Ginny East Shaddock

Director of Heartwood Retreat Center, Ginny is also a writer. This is her personal blog with essay form writing about life and reflection. My entries are often lengthy and random, because I'm not here to promote or sell anything. I'm not expecting followers - just find this format a good place to think with the pen.

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