Even with the extra weekend thrown in this year, Christmas came and went too fast to suit me. Seems as if I barely got my house in a festive mood and now it's time to start putting it all away for next year.
I don't want to.
I'm afraid that when the lights and tinsel are put away, so will the true meaning be packed up as well.
I will be left with a drab house and a sense of melancholy knowing I can't really make a change in the world with a string of lights.
What I do want is to sit in the glow of twinkle lights, surrounded by the smell of pine with a slice of warm, chocolate, Mexican cake in my hand and pray for the time I can be assured others feel the same way...free of hunger, poverty and fear.
I want to shut out the outside world with it's harsh realities and pretend it doesn't exist.
No sickness, no wars, no hate...only peace on earth, good will towards man.
I want the season of giving to extend to all seasons. I want the day to come where there is no want and the only giving required is that of thanks.
I want folks to stop the arguing about who is right or wrong and accept the differences that makes us unique and at the same time, all God's children.
I want folks to agree to disagree.
I want a world where one doesn't have to be reminded to speak or do good. It comes naturally and from the heart because we know no other way.
I want the energy that is put into trying to change others to be put into trying to change the world.
I want the light that led the Magi to the Christ child to continue to shine and lead us out of the darkness that consumes us in our harsh judgements and lust for things. Things that bring only temporary happiness, rather than everlasting joy. That cannot be bought...neither new or used. That joy can only come from the head, heart, and hands.
I want to honor not the tools of the trade, but the hands that once held them. Hands that have gone ahead, but before leaving us, carved out their place in this world and in our hearts.
I want to be like the old gentleman in our neighborhood. Every morning, come rain or shine, he can be found at the local gathering place, a smile on his face. At first glance this man, who owns no car and walks everywhere he goes, appears poor as a church mouse, but don't be deceived. He is rich beyond imagination. His pockets hold miracles. His needs few, but always met. He knows what is real and what is fool's gold.
He greets everyone with the same salutation... God bless you and how are you today?
And when asked about his day, this ageless man with his patched clothes, scuffed shoes and brilliant smile, replies with same answer every.single.time.
I am greatly blessed and highly favored.
Not just during December, but all year long, his words carry a hopeful message. He knows a child was sent to become a king. A saviour who would provide the way to a better world, a more giving world, a more loving world...Immanuel.
Through Him, by Him to a world without end.
And who doesn't want that?
~For God so loved the world, He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.~John 3:16
I've been in the prettiest of houses that were stone cold to the core and I've been in the messiest of homes that wrapped me in warmth the minute I stepped through the door.
I like to believe our Casita de Trash falls into the latter...leastwises that's what I aim for...minus the messy part.
(Now before I go any further, let the record show I'm letting you know up front, this may will be a long post. Consider yourself warned.)
Casita is the perfect word to describe a less than 1500 sq. ft. home...instead of the 3000 I like to pretend it is.
We've lived in this tiny home almost our entire married life and after 37 years, our roots run deep...way deep...clear clean to China.
We raised two kids here, fought here, cried here, but mostly loved here. We've hosted a parade of folks through our front door and said goodbye to others we hated to see leave. Sitting here alone, typing in my office, I can smell the perfume, hear the footsteps, and feel the memories that cling to every square inch of this hill I call home.
There's been birthday and graduation parties, wedding receptions, showers, and many-a-many just 'cause we want to parties. We've also held countless Christmas open houses over the years...throwing open the front and back doors to greet family and friends. These occasions are when I believe in magic. See it's like this. In my mind...fool that I am...everything appears larger than it actually is...including the size of the rooms. I truly believed I could cram 150+ guests...in addition to 20 tubs of Christmas smoke and mirrors...into a mere 1500 sq. ft...and I always did.
(Trays of food would mysteriously be emptied on their way from the front door to the kitchen...while towers of donated canned goods, coats, blankets and toys would rise up in every corner of every room! Christmas magic performed by the Houdinis and Houdini-ettes masquerading as our guests!)
The food, the laughter, every square inch dripping with lights and tinsel as high as I could reach.
These were the loveliest of times and some of my most precious memories are wrapped in those red tubs, but sadly we stopped hosting an open house in 2009, the year Bella was born. Just too many other things needed tending to.
2009 was a memorable year filled with change...Bella's birth, setting up shop in Winnie & Tulula's and meeting Robelyn for the first time. She's like a third child to me and a sister to my melon-heads. She adores Graycie, Bella and her Kitty-Cat Daddy and would probably spoil them all rotten if she lived any closer. She's also one of the most creative designers of products for women. It's like she just knows what women want and goes ahead on and makes it. And law...don't even let me get started on her packaging lessin' y'all are wanting to be here all day.
My Jenn is one smart cookie...she gets that from me! She can spot cool and hip from a mile off and as a result, had this amazing brain fart. I'm thinking her and Chickie Baby really are twins separated at birth, 'cause when Jenn approached Robelyn with her fart germ of an idea, it seems both of 'em had been farting thinking the same thing. It was time to take Red.neck chic to another level and hit the road through home shows!
Imagine a group shopping trip...in the comfort of your own home. No need to go to the boutique...they'll bring the boutique to you. Soaps, candles, lotions, towels, shirts, jewelry, handbags...the list goes on and on. All green products, repurposed, redone, and R'POed, all displayed on vintage items and all ready to be purchased.
A rolling store with ever changing merchandise. No ordering and awaiting shipment...cash and carry y'all!
(Hey...if it was good enough for two intrepid Texas women, Mary Kay Ash and Mary Crowley, it's good enough for my two.)
They approached me about hosting the maiden launch of the R'POed Red.neck Chic home party and what could I say besides yes...'ceptin' maybe a big 'ol heck yeah? After all y'all...my middle name is party. I get to resurrect my Christmas Open House...mini-style. AND...I get to be a witness to the true meaning of the spirit of Christmas...watching as one woman reaches out a hand to help another reach for her dreams.
Here is your chance to come be a part of the fun and magic this promises to be too. If any of y'all would like to drop by, please send me an e-mail or contact me, Jenn or Robelyn on our facebook pages. We'd love to have you and see you.
(Gettin' my merry merry on and running like I stolt sump'n...which I did.. All the above photos from the artist-in-residence!)
So folks...the single-wide is about to become mo-bile...and just so's you know...
No pressure sales...
(Oh...and I promise up and down not to set anyone's Christmas sweater on fire with Robelyn's candles!)
I am a wife, mother of 2 nana to 3. I am old enough to buy liquor if I wanted to. I've been in the antique business for too long. I'm a 6th generation Texan and wouldn't live anywhere else. I love the Lord, my family, old musicals, Stephen King novels, junk and my life.