Inspiration, Life Experiences

Monday Morning Musing #74 – In The Christmas Spirit

Abundance by Design

When we last ‘chatted’ a few months ago, I had no idea that just a number of weeks later I would meander along some new paths.

The first is a more enthusiastic foray into wreath making. Admittedly, I have dabbled in Christmas creativity off and on for years. It began when we lived in the Middle East where it was homespun decorations or none at all. When friends and I created for a charity event, the array of Christmas treasures was breathtaking: wooden decorations, garlands, aprons, cushions, wreaths and festive trimmings.

I continued off and on throughout the years, gifting wreaths to family and friends while saving a few pieces for my own home. Living in India, it was time to improvise all over again as I found myself without my trove of decorations. I created a ‘book tree’, presents were arrayed under a light-strung potted palm, and hand-stitched pieces from a charity bazaar added an authentic touch. Even now in Canada they remain treasured pieces.

A few months ago that yearning to be creative with something other than words (and yet another makeover of my living room!) inspired me to create ‘Abundance by Design’… and this season it is all about wreaths. Now as a number of them are displayed at a local gallery and for sale at a bustling market, I’ve closed up my workshop for the season. The pleasure was starting with a blank canvas of resources – wreaths, ribbons, decorations, vintage balls, pinecones aplenty – each its own little discovery and bespoke personality. And indeed they eventually emerged…. In The Vintage Spirit, In The Pines, In The Jolly, In Grandma’s Kitchen, In The Vintage, In The Woods, In The Nest.

I admit to having become just a little attached to them and some are more difficult to give up than others, yet it’s fulfilling to know that they’ll bring the Christmas spirit to someone’s home year after year. And as always, a special thanks to my dear mother for having shown me the flair of creativity, the meaning of creating and gifting something born from your hands… from your heart.

The second meander has also led to unexpected fulfilment and confirmed once again what I know to be true… just how precious our connections to people and community continue to be during this unprecedented time.

I find myself working at a kitchen store on our town’s charming Platzl. But let’s call it an emporium of sorts, a beautiful space of kitchen and home, a place of chatter and greetings. During this pandemic, we’ve seen a collective commitment to hopefully moving past this crisis and as in all other shops here, we wear masks at the store and are mindful to keep customers to a reasonable number. There is no question that as a community we realise how fortunate we are to have businesses open, that we need to do all that we can to stay healthy and help relieve the monumental burden faced daily by our healthcare workers.

What has spoken to me vividly these past few months is the gift of human face-to-face connections, something I know that many are truly missing. This past Saturday as people strolled the Platzl, a busker strummed his guitar warmed by an impromptu fire, children frolicked on a mound of snow, townsfolk anticipating the upcoming ski season strolled with new skis propped on shoulders, and lights shimmered from storefronts and tree boughs. Yes, it was a bit of a Canadian ‘Norman Rockwell’ moment as I took in the scene during a break from the rush of customers. The chance to be out, active and part of a community is something we once took for granted… previously so simple yet especially now, so necessary.

And so I feel fortunate. I knew I’d enjoy the social interaction of getting out from behind my writing desk a few days a week and I suspected it would be rewarding to be a part of a team of co-workers. I delighted with the thought of being able to wear nice clothes again and not just for a zoom call! And I wondered if working outside of the house would render me more productive on those days I didn’t work. Indeed I have found all to be true yet mostly, though not surprising, it is the opportunity to interact with so many people that I’ve cherished.

Kimberley’s shops are dressed elegantly for the season and people seem genuinely grateful to shop locally and support their community. We hear often how pleased they are to not have to shop at larger box stores, how they’ve done much of their shopping locally.

It says a lot about the people who have invested and embraced this small mountain city of 10,000 or so. With Kimberley’s blend of ‘born and raised here’ or ‘transplanted from across Canada and the world’, it’s a community-minded kind of place, where endeavours and creativity are encouraged, where we care about our neighbours. It reminds us to reach out where we can this holiday season, to sprinkle that little bit of joy however we may express ourselves. Merry Christmas and stay safe dear readers!

The Grater Good on Kimberley’s Platzl

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