Showing posts with label In the Spirit of Christmas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label In the Spirit of Christmas. Show all posts

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Traditions: Trees

A little background on the glistening trees of Christmas.

History has it that the custom of welcoming a Christmas tree into one's home began in early modern Germany. It is said that this special tree can be traced to the 16th (and perhaps even the 15th century) in which Christians brought decorated trees into their homes…

However, it all began one winter’s night back in 1536. A man by the name of Martin Luther was walking about through a pine forest in close proximity of his home (in Wittenberg) when he looked up and discovered a beautiful site: thousands of stars, almost jewel-like sat amongst the trees' branches. Indeed, this incredible sight "inspired him to set up a candle-lit fir tree in his house that Christmas to remind his children of the starry heavens from whence their Saviour came."

And of course, since its beginnings, new traditions of the classic Christmas tree have been added… such as tinsel, beautiful ornaments, and popcorn… parcels and nativity scenes tucked underneath. Each year, extra love and care goes into each and every light strung, as each ornament is unwrapped from years past, as each smile is formed and each time we glance up and appreciate, enjoy, and stand, in awe…

I would love to know—what is your favorite Christmas tree tradition?

Images: 01 via Vicki Archer | 02 via Paris Hotel Boutique | 03 via AnoukB | 04 via Vicki Archer | 05 via Ophelia's Renaissance | 06 via Paris Hotel Boutique | 07 Aurelie Lily | 08 via Pinterest & Karya | 09 via Laura Leonetti
Quote: History Today

Friday, December 23, 2011

In The Spirit of Kindness: Hands

Offering your hands and a moments to another.

Good afternoon! I hope that you are enjoying a lovely Thursday so far. With just a few days before Christmas, everything seems to be coming together very well, with just a couple of large things to finish up with today (with some gift wrapping this evening of course) and some preparations tomorrow for our large family dinner on Saturday. How is everything coming along for you?

For today's thought and act of kindness, I would love to consider the elderly in our society. Whether they are your neighbours, and you might like to offer a helping hand with bringing in their groceries or helping with Christmas decorating... or while you are shopping, giving an elderly couple a hand with bringing parcels and bags to their vehicles... or just holding a door open for an elderly lady or gentleman while exiting the shop. These are small things, just a helping hand and a moment or two of our time, but we must remember that the elderly need our consideration and care—they do not have the strength that we do—and it's a lovely gesture to give back...

Plus, when you have a few minutes to escape from the craziness of your to-do list and errands, (no doubt) visit {this is glamorous} to read this week's dreamy and magical {take me away} post—I will give you a little hint: think romantic travel of a bygone era.

Images (scanned): Coté Sud Déc—Jan '02/'03 by Jean-Marc Palisse

Thursday, December 22, 2011

In The Spirit of Kindness: Invitation

The gesture of love on Christmas Eve.

Today's thought on kindness includes thinking of those around us on Christmas Eve in particular. Typically, each Christmas Eve I attend a beautiful and special service at church with my family. It is one of my most favorite of Christmas memories each year—the incredible sound of traditional Christmas songs coming together as hundreds join their voices and hearts, the message, the acts and mini performances by little children—all make for the most wonderful and love-filled evening.

Is there someone who attends your church who will often take the bus, or will be all alone on Christmas? Why not offer to pick them up in your vehicle and make the occasion a little more merry? If you do not attend church, but have another tradition, why not ask someone who might be alone to join you... you never know how a simple invitation might change that person's view on others, on kindness, on love, and on Christmas.

I would love to know, what is your Christmas Eve tradition?

Images: 01, 08 via popbee by Rodarte | 02, 03, 04, 07, 12, 15 via Campagne Décoration by Christophe Madamour, Nov. 2011 | 05, 06, 10, 11,13, 14 via Campagne Décoration by JO Pesendorfer, Nov. 2011 | 09 Living Etc./House to Home by Kristin Perers

Saturday, December 3, 2011

In The Spirit of Kindness: Deliveries

Giving thanks to those who deliver.

Each year, we can look forward to receiving letters, cards and parcels for Christmas and New Years, from friends, family, acquaintances, businesses, etc. from all over the world. I so enjoy the surprise of opening them, and the medley of different styles of cards especially—from bold and modern, to fun and humorous, to classic and elegant designs. It is important to thank those who deliver our mail and newspapers and to our homes, and even those who may regularly deliver work-related shipments. Their continuous efforts can be recognized with a thoughtful and simple note and/or perhaps a gift card, as a small token of appreciation.

Do you send out Christmas cards and/or letters each year?

Image: Sarah Klassen

Friday, December 2, 2011

In The Spirit of Kindness: Coats

Giving warmth this Christmas.

It breaks my heart when I see a person (and especially a child) outside without a substantial coat during this cold winter season. In fact, it breaks my heart to even write this, as I cannot even begin to imagine the helpless feeling—overcome with chill and nothing to protect you. I remember once seeing a little girl, (no more than eight or ten) walking home from school I presume, in a thin jacket. There was snow on the ground and I wished I could have given her my coat. 'Tis the season to give, and giving even a single coat can help a child or adult avoid pneumonia, stay healthy and keep warm this Christmas. (you might even like to tuck a pair of cozy, stretchy knit gloves in the pocket as a surprise!)

By donating them to neighbourhood schools and even to women's shelters, the coats will automatically be offered to those in need and not cost the receiver a penny. After going through my own closet, I have pulled three coats to give—pressed and fresh (and hopefully almost as new) they will go in a few days to a school in a neighbouring city. Do you have any extra coats to give this Christmas?

Images: Moncler

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Welcome, December

In the Spirit of Kindness.

I vowed to stay awake until midnight this morning in order to welcome the magical month of December. (and to kiss my darling quickly on the cheek as the clock struck midnight!) Call me sentimental, but as November turns over to December, something wonderful happens. As we prepare for the coming days and December 25th, celebrated in warmth and happiness, we must never loose sight of the beauty and the heart of Christmas.

I am very happy to share about a brand new series on Haute Design: In the Spirit of Kindness, commencing today, that will explore a multitude of lovely ways to give from a kind heart. From thoughtful and simple handwritten gestures that don't cost more than a few moments of time and handmade ornaments to exquisite gifts to purchase. (which of course must be included—this wouldn't be Haute Design after all if it did not) But truly, after all, the heart of this magical and special time of year is love and kindness. I do hope you will follow along over the next 24 days as each day will feature something inspiring... Happy December 1st to you!

Images (scanned): 01 by Tom Leighton, British Homes & Gardens, December 2006 | 02, 03, 06, 08 by Pia Tryde, Victoria, March 2000 | 04, 05, 07 by Sandra Lane, Homes & Antiques, December 2008 | 09 by Polly Eltes, Homes & Antiques, December 2008
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