Have I introduced you to my special people. You’ve seen these faces or read their influence before on here. This is Ashley and Lauren (in no particular order). We’ve been friends for… (hold on I have to count) 22-ish years. And just typing that makes my hands go numb and my little forehead wrinkle grow a bit more. I won’t go into the generic ups and downs that every special friendship offers someone who opens their life and hearts to another person. Not only are they special to me, they are special to my family and my children and their families and children are so special to me.
As you probably remember, since you spend every day thinking about blogs I’ve written, around this time for the past could of years I’ve enjoyed a wonderfully creative and chaos-free day at my Aunt Karen’s Christmas Crossing wreath workshop. This is a craft fair and craft-workshop in one. Top quality crafts and an ohana vibe.
I know, I know, you’ve always wanted to come but have been too busy, its okay. Everyone’s allowed to do what they want with their time. But this is definitely what I love to do with mine.
Now, this event is not a competition at all. But it certainly fucking is for a few of us repeat offenders who show up every year. Not only in wreath making skills but in your ability to match your besties. I have to say that although we started this trend, sweet Connie and her elves won the outfit competition this year (but only by a margin).
Oh yeah, and did I mention that it was P O U R I N G rain? As we got ready to leave, I kept looking at my kids, like, you sure you don’t want to just stay home with dad? Nope. They wanted to come. They look forward to this as much as I do.
In particular, I pressed Mathis, my five year old. I told him it would be wet and cold and his ability to run around and play would be null and void by the weather. Nope. He wanted to come. I told him that with the first peep of how wet and cold he is and I’d bring him home. This was both a threat and a promise, because we were five minutes from home and toasty and warm might actually be an inviting offer in the end.
But, nevertheless, this crafter and her companions persistent, giant coats and a bag of small toys in hand. This is something I swear by: a bag of small toys. I never go anywhere without it. Half a dozen, unrelated, randomly selected small toys that fits neatly in a sack and stir up millions of imaginary scenarios for little minds and keep them busy and satisfied for hours.
So, the story goes, once we arrived I really wouldn’t see my kids all day, only when they they would run up and ask for $5.00 for some of Aunty Rissi’s warm chow mien noodles, or fresh cocoa, or a spam musubi, or an ornament that caught their eye; but other than that they all kind of kept together in the corner laughing, playing and staying as warm as possible.
Though the weather persisted as hard as we did, it kind of offered that major winter vibe as we worked various fir branches and other details into our wreaths. This year I was drawn to color. The sunset shaded yellow and orange protea that came in a bouquet included in each wreath workshop package. I also loved the brilliant red of the round berries and the silver green moss on crooked branches. You know your girl can’t pass up the nature thing, and I turned it up to 11 with the nature vibe.
Over our crafting we talked about life, holiday plans, beloved family and friends, desires and struggles. Our words and laughter drifted out and fell upon our working hands like the drizzling rain outside the tent. And when we would go home to hang the wreath, all the love and fun would be there, hanging up with against the fragrant branches and decorative bows.
It will tell a story, about the things that excite us, the times we are looking forward to, the people we enjoy and the time we all came together to do crafts under a cozy tent in the rain.
There was no group picture this year. The rain made sure of it. But it happened. And we were all there.
Can’t wait for next year.