Christmas time was here

If you really think about it, we have been celebrating Christmas since we returned to Richmond November 7th and began our job as holiday "elves", working for a company which sets up all the Christmas displays in Richmond's malls and big businesses. Oh the joys of burnt out light strands and giant plastic pine trees, I could not have fathomed before these past few months. You would not believe how mad people get when you but up a tree in their office building before Thanksgiving.

Fortunately, our temp job awarded me a bit of free time before christmas which gave me time to make terrariums for some of my family members. It was a big project and caused me to make a mess of dirt, rocks and moss all over the kitchen.

Jameson and I also made a Children's counting book for our Niece Ella. It is titled "Ella's Magical Counting Adventure". In the book, she feasts on too many cookies and falls into a deep psychedelic sleep where Nana is a super robot saving one planet and pop pop is a friendly dragon with two heads.... so on. Jameson authored the book and we co-illustrated it pasting the heads of each family member onto it's corresponding magical body. Jameson is #6, "Uncle Jameson dances with 6 laughing trees" and "Aunt Laney finds 7 orphans under the couch." It was very exciting to open that gift together at the Price family Christmas December 23rd.

This year we celebrated for 4 days! It was wonderful, we got to spend time with our lovely family and do all different kinds of things. One of Jameson's favorite Price family traditions is having a nerf gun battle in his Dad's church. His mom made a feast the next morning with breakfast casserole and pecan pancakes. After breakfast made our way to Alexandria where my father lives. It's a good 4 hour drive and we were a bit frazzled when we arrived after so many hours staring at the road. My stepmother made a delicious lasagna and Dad made a fire and all was well at the Sullivan household. The next day we spent with my Mom. Every Christmas that I have been alive on this earth I have spent Christmas day at my grandparents house. In the morning we drink mimosa and open gifts and at night we eat a big feast with the whole family. This year in between those two events we went into the woods and had quite time by the river. My mother, grandfather, and his dog Jolly came with us. Jameson found a nice rock to sit upon.


New Traditions

We have always wanted to create our own traditions for our future family.
We knew that we wanted to incorporate the solstices and equinox so we decided to start this year with the Winter Solstice.

Every Winter Solstice we will go outside during the day and raise our hands to the sky and say to the sun,
"Thank you sun, for all the food that you helped grow, see you more in the spring."

Then we will go buy or find a cactus, decorate it, name it and add it to our cactus collection.
This ones name is "Plantain"

Then we will snack on Pistachios before our friends come over for a soup potluck and tell each others fortune with the shells.

Of course we know pistachio shells don't tell fortunes, but it is still lots of fun.

These new traditions are adaptations of ancient solstice traditions:
1) Thanking the sun for the light and heat which helped grow fall crops (like root vegetables and gourds).

2) Decorating a tree that stays green during the winter. This is what lead to the tradition of the christmas tree. We will decorate a cactus, which also stays green during the winter.

3) Gather friends and family and tell each others good fortune over a fest. We will have a soup potluck.


Let the Juice Fast Begin

Homemade ornaments

We recently went to an "ornament out of clay" craft party

We tried our hands at it, and this is what we came up with.

NOTE: The ornaments have a hint of brown around them because Laney made the oven too hot. We didn't really know what we were doing.

X-mas Novempus by Jameson

X-mas Snail by Jameson

Wine Bottle with lights by Jameson

Lord Ganesha with fungi by Laney

Quiet Time

Some friends of ours have started a "quiet time" meditation by the James river every Sunday.
The concept is simple, sit by the water for over an hour in silence.
It is absolutely refreshing.