Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Big gifts in small packages

This is just a tiny post for any of you that might be in "it's not enough" mode.

Yes, you know who you are and you know very well that I am referring to "I haven't bought enough presents." I even fell victim to it myself last weekend and frantically sent off one last gift to my Mom and Sister, as they frankly deserve any gift that money can buy. But that isn't really the point and we all know that. 

So a little reminder for myself and anyone else who needs it to take stock in the little joys that often get overlooked during the lambast of the holidays. Every morning I look forward to seeing what progress my two hyacinths have made in the night. Can I smell them yet? Not yet, but soon. At today's outdoor market, I stocked up on more of two staples that hit their peak at this time of year, sweet clementines from Corsica and earthy walnuts from Grenoble. The sassy Mrs. Claus finger puppet that my Sister sent me makes me smile so many times a day. I created a little woodland scene for her on my desk. And finally, the surprise of finding that my flower seller had added a bouquet of chartreuse ping-ponged mimosas in my package, doubly charming as they normally don't flower until February! 

So you see, these little gifts are as good as jewels, finally. It's enough and so are you. Now it is time to step back and be present (which is a present) for the ones you love.

I also want to send out a wish for a very happy Hanukkah to my Jewish friends and readers. As Bruce Barone recently commented here, "Let there be light!"


  1. Wonderful post, Heather. It seems you and I are on the same wave-length, and tried to get back to what truly makes Christmas special in our stories this week ;-) I love your displays and am so jealous of your mimosa. Would love to find some here, but nope, it ain't happening anytime soon in the Pacific Northwest. Joyeux Noel! Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

  2. Sometimes people forget Christmas isn't always about the stuff. Just enjoying the company of people you care about most is all that really matters. I know so far I'm enjoying having my men home for two full weeks! Love your mamosas I haven't seen those in years!


  3. Veronique, your post was so amazing! And sadly, the mimosas have already faded--that is part of what makes them special though. :) Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas!

    You are so lucky Debra!! I would give anything to be near my Mom and Sis right now...

  4. I LOVE the "Mrs. Claus in nature" diorama you've made!! How can that not make you happy?? Thanks for this post as a reminder as tomorrow I set out on my mad-scramble-for-last-minute-presents shopping spree! Breathe. Notice beauty. Talk to loved ones (especially across the ocean loved ones). Repeat.

  5. Oh my, you must be reading my mind. I had that very thought this morning as I was taking the pup out. Thanks for the lovely reality check.

    Happy holidays!

  6. Thanks for the focus on the little things - they really are what makes the season wonderful. Your comment was such a delight to read yesterday - I was in the midst a really challenging day in my "stable" world, and it brightened things to no end to think about how thankful I am for the internet and the connections that it brings. Good luck with your exploration of what's next - and if there is any support or advice I can offer, please let me know!

  7. Sister! Am missing you so much today even if you are always close in my heart.

    Happy Holidays to you too Judith! Curious what you decided about the tree...hmmm...

    Jeanne, you are amazing! Thank you so much for that, it is very, very kind of you. If I can ever reciprocate as well...but with the arts you just have to dive in and keep at it. :) It is funny because my Dad was in fashion retail and we all thought that would be my path. Not to be, but it is still a world I love. I truly hope that things are beginning to calm down for you. In France, everyone is already on vacation!

  8. Hi Heather,
    Getting the tree this afternoon. We're planning on lots of sour apple spray and a few tasteful, non-glass ornaments near the top!

  9. Clementines from CORSICA!!!!!!!!!The first time I had a clementine was in Italy in the early 90's.........they always remind me of Christmas!I can find them here now but not nearly as good as over yonder!
    You my dear are a GIFT to all of us that tune in to your lovely BLOG!Just love what you have to say and how you say it.Just in case I run out of time as my boys pop home tonight!MERRY MERRY CHRISTMAS to the three of you and you MONSTER tree!Its all so perfect.

  10. Judith, oh yay! This made me so happy to hear! Maybe bows only, firmly tied to the tree this year? Truly, you know that I am serious when I wish you good luck! But as you know, puppydom is short-lived. They do what they do and afterwards we tell stories. PS. I loved your quote on TW!

    And Contessa? So thrilled to hear that your boys will be home! There is nothing better. Bisous, mon amie!

  11. The mimosas look so colourful and cheery - and such a gorgeous scent, even as they dry. (Does look weird seeing them in December though! Ha, there is that upside down world thing again!)

    Couldn't agree more with your sentiments. Time to enjoy the wonders of Christmas! Virginia xx

  12. Heather, another wonderful post. I'd like to share an event that happened this evening which speaks to your topic--being present--and grateful for what's important--not gifts. Tonight as my husband and I were leaving for a dinner in our neighborhood, a man was driving down the street calling for his 3 year old daughter who had wandered out of their home--a couple of blocks from us. You could hear the terror in his voice. The good news is that she was found soon after. When he told us the wonderful news we were all crying with joy and gratitude. Now that is what these holidays are really about. Our love for each other... Sally

  13. Yes, Virginia, the mimosas are still making me happy in thier shrivelled state. I moved them into the bedroom so that they are the first thing that I see when I wake up!

    Sally, it is so good to hear from you! And your story brought tears to my eyes. It is so true, there is nothing more important. Wishing you a very Happy Holidays!

  14. Hi Heather,
    I just sent a couple photos of our very minimalist, bow-tied tree to the email address on your website.

    Happy Holidays! Judith

  15. Yay! Thank you Judith! I loved that!!! Hooray! Happy, happy holidays!!!!


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