Saturday, August 21, 2010

Pink Holidays

About this time of year my local hobby store starts clearing the aisles to make way for Christmas ribbons and ornaments.   I used to groan, it's way too early for this sort of thing.  But now after selling holiday things year round for several years the decorations themselves have become almost season less, almost meaningless.  I'm sure a lot of you who make Santas or Easter Bunnies are working out of season.  At first it was disturbing, I didn't like painting chalkware Santas in September or unboxing bottle brush trees on a warm summer day.  These things always seemed as if they should be accompanied by Christmas music and cookies.                                                                                I live in a temperate climate, in northeastern Wisconsin.   At times I've loathed the bitterly cold days that keep you stranded indoors, the cold at times so extreme that spending any length of time outdoors borders on reckless.  I have lived in a tropical climate with year round balminess, then on to a rainy place, followed by a dry arid place.  Perhaps it's just because I was born and raised here that I like the rhythm of this northern climate best.  The definite seasons, winter being broken by days almost unbelievably beautiful as the grass begins to grow again and the trees leaf out.  We tend to associate holidays with these rhythms, a white Christmas, a pretty spring day for Easter, corn shocks and fields of pumpkins for Halloween.
As time passes I make peace with unpacking Halloween decorations in the middle of summer and Easter bunnies showing up right after Christmas.  I've found I still really associate the holiday with the changing of the seasons and not the objects, the dinners and traditions and not the  decorations.  I have found the meaning lies not in the things themselves but the meanings we give them when we invite them into our lives and give them a place in our homes.  These things we labor on out of season are just waiting for someone's family and home to give them meaning.    
Just an added note, I didn't create any of the things in these pictures,  I do show some of my chalkware Santas in another post.