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During the month of August in the USA, “Christmas” begins creeping onto retailers’ shelves…yes in August. There are even bits of Halloween and Thanksgiving decor making an appearance, yet the crushing push to consume before year’s end begins. This mentality is also visible in the waistlines of obese Americans…a loss of mindfulness and willingness to run out the clock. Loss and run are both keywords.

This observation causes me to shrink and place invisible blinders on until January… while the current state saddens me to the core. This state of loss, running, consuming, and unrest fuels the growing poverty, drug addiction, and homelessness in America. A condition that oozes across borders, as America, a once highly revered nation, settles into stagnation and violence. Where did humanity hit the rocks? Is it possible to pick up the pieces? Can hopelessness be reversed?

Last week, a neighbor commented on the price of Christmas trees, due to climate change/drought and shortage of trees. I encouraged her to follow her instincts and downsize Christmas. Her children are older, and this could be a teaching moment that could last a lifetime.

Let’s peel back the layers and reach the true meaning of this holiday.

Iron Ornament tree--everlasting

An iron tree…everlasting, small, and holding only my favorite ornaments. I am grateful for the sweet memories each one evokes. 

Every December I look to my gardens for celebration. The Buxus need their annual pruning, and give plenty of material for fresh wreaths. Below are a few photos of this year’s bounty…


Simple and elegant. I so enjoy turning French wire ribbon into lush bows.


A small ‘Provence’ lavender swag made for a friend after creating the wreath seen below. This holiday is a great time to show appreciation.


Isn’t this lovely? Fresh lavender, fragrant, and appreciated by one woman at last market. She plans to hang it in her kitchen.


Back in my kitchen, steaming hot cocoa with a pinch of cinnamon warms me after a cool morning of wreath making outdoors.


An entire head of organic cauliflower was the base for this delicious soup.  Perfect and simple, the recipe may be found in my memoir.


A wee Cornish Game hen roasted beautifully with organic Brussels sprouts.

The only way I cope with this season and the state of our nation is to step away from the crowds and noise, eat simply and mindfully, and give thanks every day for small blessings.

All I really want for Christmas is an open heart, compassion for myself and others, and the ability to remain connected with the present without judgement.

May you put down your devices, take time for breath, and embrace the happy times.

Copyright © 2019 by Diane LaSauce All Rights Reserved