We headed out yesterday morning for our annual "greens gathering." This year, we stayed very close to home, hiking into the bit of woods at the end of our block.
Our destination was this--the tangles of downed trees from our pre-Halloween snowstorm, which brought with them masses of bittersweet we can't normally reach.
We snipped and snipped until our bags were full.
Then, clippers in our back pockets (and heavy layers shed--it was warm out!), we headed for home.
When we found some white pine to add to our collection, Lucy carried it over her shoulder, telling us "I love the smell of these greens! I want to hold it in my nose forever!"
Today, we hauled the whole lot to my mother's condo and made a mess of her dining room and chatted as I assembled two wreaths. I gave her first dibs, and still ended up bringing my favorite one home:
Others of the greens were destined for the dining room, where I set up our Advent wreath in the wee hours of last night.
Coming downstairs this morning, Lucy stopped in the dining room, gazing upwards for the longest time. "Mama, that wreath is so beautiful! I love the way it looks." Then she insisted we eat breakfast in there, rather than our usual spot in the kitchen.
Before dinner, Lucy and I began to arrange our creche scene. Taking a cue from several bloggers, last year we began a new tradition of setting the scene bit by bit--stones in the first week, plants the second, animals the third, and people the fourth. So it's rather barren at the moment, set only with stones gathered by the kids at the river this summer. But isn't that perfect for the beginning of Advent--quiet, dark, missing something, waiting...?
I'm loving this gradual approach to preparing for Christmas, and to decorating our home for the season. Rather than a rush rush to get it all done, we're taking our time, savoring each bit. I hope your Advent has begun peacefully, too.