“And so I’m offering this simple phrase, to kids from one to ninety-two. Although it’s been said many times many ways, Merry Christmas to you!”
May your days be merry and bright!
Can you all believe it is 4 days before Christmas? Colleen and I have both been feeling like this Christmas season has gone by much too fast and has also not been anywhere near as cheerful as we would have liked it to be. Primarily because of the awful tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut which has broken the whole nation’s heart along with some stressors that simply come along with being a grown up. I posted this last year but we felt like sharing it again would be a good thing to do today not only because we love tradition but also because we felt like it would be appropriate right now. We also want to state for the record that we both BELIEVE. Here is last year’s post…
The story of Virginia is one that I had heard referenced but had never read until last year. It touched me deeply when I read it because the author’s answer to Virginia rings true to me as the most important thing about this time of year. Despite all of the commotion that surrounds it, Christmas is essentially a celebration of love and the importance of believing in things that cannot be seen or touched but only felt with your heart. Whatever they may be.
Image credit 1
This is the original article taken from the New York Sun…We take pleasure in answering thus prominently the communication below, expressing at the same time our great gratification that its faithful author is numbered among the friends of The Sun:
Dear Editor— I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, “If you see it in The Sun, it’s so.” Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus? Virginia O’HanlonVirginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours, man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge. Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The external light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished. Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies. You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if you did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world. You tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived could tear apart. Only faith, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding. No Santa Claus! Thank God! He lives and lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay 10 times 10,000 years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood. —————– “Is There a Santa Claus?” reprinted from the September 21, 1897, number of The New York Sun.
115 West Ninety Fifth Street
May you all have a Christmas filled with magic and take some time to remember to BELIEVE in whatever feels true in your heart.
When we were trying to come up with some cheap and easy ideas to incorporate into our Thrifty Christmas Tablescape, I was inspired by a garland made by our friend Brynn of Chartreuse and a Twist. As Colleen mentioned Monday, she created cute fluffy yarn balls and strung them up to make a garland. Since I was feeling particularly lazy, I was trying to come up with a way to make something similar without going to the store for yarn. That’s when I thought cottonballs may just be the ticket. I had a big old bag of them already, so I took some twine that I also had and gave it a shot. This resulted in what is without a doubt one of our easiest DIYs to date.
What you’ll need:
- Bag of cottonballs
- Twine (the striped baker’s twine added to cuteness factor and a little pop of color but any other string would work as well)
- Nail (If you are fancy enough to have a thin knitting needle then good for you. I was not and my little nail worked just fine. Just make sure you are using a nail that has a head so you string won’t slide right off.)
What you’ll do:
1. Tie a knot at the end of your twine/string around your needle and pull it tight.
2. Insert the nail into the middle of your cotton ball. I found that it was easier to push through the flat part where you can see the cotton rolled around versus the fluffy part. Just look at your ball and you can figure out what I mean. You may have to work your needle around a little to get it you the end of the cotton.
3. You can see here how it gets a little stuck up in the cotton sometimes. Just work it around and push until you can see it pop through.
4. Pull out the nail. Sometimes part of the cotton comes with the end of the nail a bit. I found that my balls looked fluffier if I fixed them up after the fact by straightening them out and tweaking them a little.
5. Finish by putting enough cottonballs on so that your garland is as long as you want it to be with your balls being close enough together (This is purely personal preference). Each of my strands took about 19 cottonballs but they were pretty long. Spread them all out and voila!
I think they make a pretty fun little decoration when grouped together. Check out the rest of our Thrifty Christmas tablescape here.
I really like to keep stuff. I’m not quite as bad as Megan, who hoards boxes and bags alike (sorry to call you out Megs), but I just despise throwing things away that could potentially have another purpose later in life. Will this tossed aside ribbon one day come to my rescue in a DIY project gone awry? Will I need this Anthropologie bag to carry all of my things next time I move? So needless to say, whenever I come upon a food or beverage container that is even remotely attractive, I save it. Corey had these fancy beer bottles that he was collecting for me and I racked my brain for a week to try to figure out what to do with them. I did consider snow globes a la the mason jar ones we made last year, but I figured I couldn’t really fit anything in them except snow. Finally, I had an epiphany that I should make them into taper candle holders. This has been done many times before, but I think the tinsel glitter courtesy of Martha makes me love them even more. You guys gotta get some of this stuff. It makes things look like angels. See more pictures of my oh so fancy tinseled candlesticks in our Christmas tablescape from yesterday.
What you’ll need:
- Pretty glass bottles of your choice – wine or beer would work best
- Spray paint – I used Krylon White in a satin finish
- Martha Stewart Decoupage Glue and Sealer (or similar crafting glue)
- Martha Stewart Tinsel Glitter in Sterling (just real good lookin)
- Short taper candles
What you’ll do:
1) Spray paint your bottles. Is it just me or have I been doing a lot of spray painting recently?
2) Glue the area of your bottles that you would like covered in glitter.
3) Pour glitter on the glue. I’m not sure it gets any easier than this.