While some of you are experiencing a magical White Christmas, we are enjoying a decidedly tropical one. And although I'm sure I would love to be walking in a winter wonderland, all furry collars and earmuffs, I am quite content with these sunny skies, strappy tops, and a particular pair of bronze-y Brazilian flip-flops that made their way to my Christmas loot.
In keeping with the season (climate-wise), here in my corner of the world, I decided to forgo tradition and nix the pine tree this year. Instead, I bought a fabulous palm at our local market, draped it with these cool weaved-twine-ball lights I found in Bangkok, and decorated it with shells I found on an island in Bicol that we visited last month. It looks like a Christmas tree from some shipwrecked island and I love it. I scattered shells and Christmas balls around the house and used halved coconut husks for candle holders.
Most of my free time saw me stirring a big pot of bubbling Spiced Apple Chutney -- my Christmas gift this year. Though the flat smelled of it for days, it was well worth it to be able to hand over something homemade this year. And the hours it took to peel kilos of apples and coax them into chutney made for a lot of reflection time.
Though this season had its share of tough times, it was also all the more special for it. Moments with family seemed more precious, rituals more meaningful, and old squabbles put aside.
Now to make up for the absence of a white Christmas, we will be off to the beach to celebrate the New Year. I'll be back in January of a shiny new 2008 to open the next round of Hay Hay it's Donna Day! Until then, from my tropical islands to your home, wherever you hail, I hope you are having a memorable and meaningful holiday season full of love and hope!