Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Rituals and Meaning Making

First of all, I would like to say a huge thankyou to all of you who left such beautiful comments - your words really lifted me up and inspired me to keep creating...you are all amazing!

With Christmas creeping up upon us (where on earth did the year go?) I begin to think about rituals and traditions. Although, it's not just at Christmas time when we perform such rituals - every day, little things like that first cup of coffee in my special cup, to something as simple as the whole family sitting down to watch our favourite show together - these are the little rituals which make meaning in our lives...

Every year at Christmas time, my mum makes her famous Christmas Pudding - it was a recipe which her grandmother used to make. As a child, I remember the excitement of Christmas morning when I would awake to a stocking full of goodies underneath the tree. Then a wonderful feast with family, and the pure joy of seeing who would find the penny that mum had hidden in the pudding!

Obviously now, we can't stick money in food, or we might all end up in the hospital, but some traditions are so lovely, that we need to pass them down through the generations.

So, on Sunday, Abby joined Nana in her kitchen, and they set about making the pudding together, while I copied down the recipe. I think it's so lovely that Abby has now learned the exact recipe which her great, great grandmother followed, and will be able to make it for her family, and so on...

As inspired as I was last week by my calico, I decided to create another project which really is a no-brainer. I made this advent calendar by embroidering little squares of calico, then simply stitching them to a large piece of calico. I love how naive and simple it is, and the possibilities here are endless also - you could easily use felt, or scraps of fabric that you have leftover. I chose brightly coloured thread, because I love that childlike, whimsical quality.

And as for the little presents, you are only limited by your imagination (and your wallet!) I have chosen candy canes, chocolates and some little toys, but you could fill them with anything your heart desires...little matchbox cars for boys, some colourful crayons, or even some costume jewellery for the older girls...(personally, mine can never have too much chocolate!)

Another tradition which I began quite a few years back was to splurge each year on a new Christmas ornament...so imagine how happy I was yesterday to discover this little Christmas Carousel! Of course I had to snap it up...

And just because I promised...remember I told you I was off on a little girls' trip...well, here we are at the beach house - girls behaving badly...sing with me "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun"....

What rituals and traditions will you be celebrating? I would love to hear from you x


  1. SERIOUSLY LUV?? You just sewed that?? i have never even sewed a button....that is SO ADORABLE! I love the colors!!

    We were just asking our kids what traditions they could ditch and which ones they could not live without when it came to Thanksgiving and Christmas. We were amazed (and thrilled) to hear that was was important to them was exactly what is important to us. ...it is definately what makes the holidays magical!

    I am off to create some sort of Advent Calendar that does not require needles or threat....thanks for the inspiration my friend!!!

  2. Yay Tina!! Fabulous post..me and my sister dance around to Girls just wanna have Fun too..ha ha hilarious!
    What a beautiful post..inspiring and heartwarming...yes it is wonderful to pass on special traditions and rituals...it is the most magical part of life!! Love the photos ..love your creativity and talent as always..wow! so sweet they are making pudding together too! Lovely!
    thanks for sharing another magical post!

  3. Tina, another true-to-yourself post. I so love visiting here and I'm so glad we found each other!
    You are so correct when you wrote rituals are as simple as every day small things. For instance, each day I sip my tea from the same chintz cup ... for my drink would not be the same in another. Each day, just as the sun is setting, I light a group of candles. I have done this for years ... for me, it is a way to set the house to rest, and a spiritual transition as well, as the soft flickering of light eases the cognizances.

    Thank you for letting us into your home and sharing with us your family traditions. It recalls to me fond memories as a child, spending time in the kitchen with my grandmother, baking a bakery full of goodies for the holidays!

    Wishing you and yours a most magical day!

  4. Hello, what a great post,,,glad you had a good time with your friends...looks like it a fun time.
    I love that Christmas carousel ornament!
    And how fortunate you are to have your mom around to teach your children such amazing traditions.
    some of the rituals I have is a cup of tea in the evening and as soon as I wake up in the morning i say "a miracle is going to happen today"

    Have a great day:)

  5. ~good morning my friend...such precious moments you captured of your daughter and mother...priceless pieces for you to treausure...and a moment your daughter will forever remember...i l♥ve your advent calander...i think you are onto something quite magical with this here stitching you are doing...it is wonderful...and time with girls...sigh...i am happy you were able to savor and enjoy togther!!! much l♥ve and light upon you and yours~

  6. I love your little Advent calendar. Reminds me of when my children were wee ones and every morning they would pop the chocolate out of their Advent calendars, as if taking a morning vitamin! Happy memories. I have a million traditions. Seriously. I do. The first one is up as of last weekend...DebVille, my Christmas village. How wonderful that your Mombie is close by and able to pass on traditions to your girls.

    You are quite an adorable little dancer!!!
    **happy smiles** Deb

  7. What precious pictures and memories you have created with your daughter and your Mom. I love your advent calendar too....you are making such beautiful things to have around and make you feel special. And your weekend with the girls???? How fantastic! My holiday traditions are changing....my oldest daughter got married in July so things will be very different this year.....new traditions to come.....but a bit sad that she won't be home with us Christmas morning.....my youngest daughter is having a hard time with the changes too....adjustments to be made....

  8. Dear Tina, it is always such a pleasure to drop by and glimpse at your world. The photos are great as well as your outlook and ideas for the holidays' old and new traditions. Great work! Have a beautiful weekend XO

  9. What a fabulous Advent calendar you created. And what a lovely new tradition you've started with your family. Each year at the holidays, I try to make the special Portuguese treats my grandmother and father would make for us all. And this year, my father is going to be teaching my hubby how to make this wonderful homemade bread filled with meats. It is wonderful to follow these family traditions. :) Theresa

  10. what a delightful post. I firmly believe that rituals and traditions are the ties that bind. even if we have had to modify some of our traditions due to changes in the family, they remain important to keep in some form and some adaptations have become beloved traditions in their own right. It is exciting to see my children as they establish their families, which traditions they keep and what new ones they introduce. My big tradition is adding a new Christmas CD every year. I LOVE Christmas music and at one point almost 1/3 of my music was Christmas music and with my eclectic taste I had everything from the 'Messiah' to Reggae. Unfortunately a couple of years ago I had most of my collection go missing, so I am replacing instead of adding. Sigh
    Johnina :^A

  11. Hi Tina,

    Fun post! I make the same Christmas goodies that my great-grandmother, grandmother, and parents made using their same recipes. My daughter emailed me this week and asked for them! :)

    I love your advent calender idea - so sweet!!!

    Wishing you & yours a lovely weekend,
    ~ Zuzu


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