Tuesday, December 7, 2010

An Old Fashioned Appalachian Christmas

We're counting down the days until St. Nick squeezes his rear through our chimney and out through the cabinet that now sits where the old wood stove used to reside. I'm not sure I ever remember this house having that wood stove, but I've sure heard all the stories surrounding it (like my anecdotal grandfather vs. a very persistent chimney owl ). Although we've discussed putting a nice pot-bellied stove back in this heirloom homestead, to date we still rely on our HVAC unit unless an electricity failure forces us to kerosene heat.

I do miss the smell of a wood stove though. It just screams, "Christmas is coming!" I miss a lot about how things were many winters ago. As a child, I loved toasting my tootsies by my Great Grandparent's old family room stove.

Oh, how the holidays bring back such wonderful memories! Popcorn garland, cedar trees, Christmas carols, homemade ornaments, cookies, pies, and that silly plastic tinsel they used in the 80s. Gives me the giggles every time I think of it!

We have always had a "normal" (more like "commercialized") Christmas: a purchased tree (always Fraser Fir), pretty gift wrap, store-bought and ribbon-tied ornaments (not a hook to be found!), fruity-flavored candy canes, a stocking for every pet, and -- well -- usually a huge credit card bill to go with all of it. But in the past year we've been growing out of our consumerism jeans, and this year - Christmas is different. Very different! And we're LOVING every minute of it.

We opted for a historical Christmas, one laced with Appalachian love, folklore, and tradition. We didn't buy a tree this year, but rather cut our own cedar and carefully decorated it with the most rustic, handmade and used ornaments we had. We made popcorn and cranberry garland, strategically placed only a few light strands (no candles on our tree!) and used an aluminum pie tin to cut out a star for the top.

Our hearts feel as light as they ever have, and Christmas has become a happy holiday once more. We're no longer worried about having gifts under the tree (although we will - we've already done some shopping) and Santa is bound to come... as long as Ashby pulls her grades up a bit! *wink, wink*

By the way... Ms. Coo squeaks, "Just 18 days 'til Christmas!"