Life, art, and nature on Maryland's Eastern Shore.

Thursday, December 5, 2013


Now that I've caught my breath from Thanksgiving, I am a busy little Christmas elf. Or trying to be. The mild weather is a distraction that keeps drawing me outside. On Tuesday, I set off to buy a Christmas tree, but the tree lot I usually go to isn't open this year. Since I was headed vaguely in the direction of Blackwater, and I had my camera with me, I went there instead.
Which, as it turns out, was a very good decision. Got lots of great shots of this guy who seemed as interested in me as I was in him. Possibly, I looked like dinner.
I was more successful on the tree front yesterday, though I did have to search a bit. I did not want a "big box" tree. I am trying to shop small and local. In the end I found the perfect tree at the liquor store, and as I needed more bourbon for the Chocolate Bourbon Pecan pies I was able to "kill two birds." It isn't decorated but at least it's here, sitting in a tub of water in the barn. I wrestled it in there by myself, getting the hose stuck under it and shooting myself full in the face in the process of getting it out. Christmas is hard.
The wreaths are up, one for each front door and the barn.
Now I'm at a standstill until someone brings the rest of the decorations down from the attic, so I've turned my attention to gift bags. We exchange gift baskets with some of the family. I try to be creative with the container/basket. I like to give something useful, and in the past I've used barn buckets because they come in festive colors, shiny metal paint cans from the hardware store because they're fun to decorate, and cloth bags which I've made myself. Feed stores are an excellent source for containers. They have all sorts of galvanized buckets and egg baskets. This year I've opted for bags. Wanted something festive but not specifically Christmas-y, so I re-purposed the living room drapes that I took down last year. They'll make great shopping totes for the rest of the year, and that's one more thing out of my attic. Here's the first one finished. I have four more ready to assemble. I kept it simple and used webbing straps.
I'll fill them with homemade goodies, a few treats from the farmer's market (honey and homemade soaps), a bottle of wine, and tidbits picked up over the last few weeks. Sometimes I pick a theme, sometimes not. 
I like to set up a card table for wrapping in our tiny library. Keeps the clutter from spreading all over the house. I always vow to have the wrapping finished early, and yet, come Christmas Eve, this is where I'll sit. Thank goodness for grown children who can pitch in and help.
How are your preparations coming? I'd like to be one of those people who gets the decorating done all in a day. Instead, mine happens in layers. Wreaths one day, lights another, indoor decorations another, and finally the tree. It will all get done. It always does. I need to be able to veer off course and take a few eagle pictures when the mood strikes, though. Otherwise I get grouchy.
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas. XO.

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