holiday musings

Saturday, November 30, 2013



I hope this post finds you all all well and rested after the holiday weekend. I've been doing a bit of thinking about the month ahead and I just wanted to share a few bits and pieces with you.

All the shopping-related noise of this weekend makes me uneasy.

Even as a small business owner who stands to benefit greatly (in the financial sense) from the attention that small businesses get at this time of year, part of me worries that even the "shop small" movement, however well-intentioned, is just another cog in the wheel of the overconsumption machine that steamrolls the holidays.

I know I must sound like a total bore.

Supporting your local small businesses, and buying products that are made with love by people you know are really important things. This enables people like me to support themselves doing what they love, it strengthens communities, among so many other good things. The longer I work by hand with plant material, though, and spend time observing the garden and the rhythms of the natural world, even here in the middle of the city, the more unnatural the hectic rush surrounding the holidays feels to me.

Philosophically, I've come to think of Marble & Milkweed as a way for me to share a connection to the wisdom of the natural world. All of nature is at rest right now in preparation for the renewal of life in the springtime and I don't think that seeing ourselves as an exception to this part of the natural cycle is productive or healthy. In my own life, I've made some choices about the way I spend my time, energy and resources at this time of the year that haven't always been well-understood by those around me. My partner and I support organizations whose work we admire in honor of our family and friends, and give gifts handmade in our kitchen during warmer days that can be savored and then remembered fondly. I also devote an enormous amount of time to making sure that the shop runs smoothly and that I'm able to share what I make with as many of you as possible. It brings me great joy to provide beautiful handmade gifts for you and your loved ones at this time of celebration, and throughout the year.

Your choices may be different, of course, but I think there is much to be gained in stepping back for a moment, and thinking about how to spend these dark and cozy days in the way that feels most true to you.

Wishing you a peaceful month ahead, filled with whatever it is you need most.


p.s. Rena's words here, here and here over the last few days have really resonated with me.

{photo: prayer flags at 6 & B on Thursday}


3 comments:

  1. I really loved this post. This time of year makes me uncomfortable for the same reasons you mentioned. Every year I step further away from conventional tradition. Many years ago I ran my herb business and it was called Simple Things. Interacting with those plants, crafting things with them, growing them, was the happiest time of my life. Simple things are what means the most to me. Friends, family, nature, and creating........and books, of course: )

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  2. i am in total agreement, briar. at this time of year, i do my best to continue good, wholesome traditions and let the hype fall away. all the holiday marketing can make it tricky to see & feel what our families really need. having kids makes it even more difficult, but even more important, to refuse the parts of the holiday machine that aren't in alignment with our values.
    on a similar note, i'm so grateful that you are able to do what you love, because i love what you do!!!

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  3. Lovely thoughts, Briar, and we concur, more and more, with the idea of the peaceable kingdom at the holidays: simpler, quieter, inward in reflection, outward in sharing. Love you and your thoughtful approach to everything. <3

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