Welcome to the slightly different version of the Advent blogpost series.
This year we're still exploring and learning, but I'm not the one writing the posts!
Each day the post has been written by a volunteer spinner, they're be telling us about their mid-winter holiday traditions, and a little bit about the place they live. I still need volunteers, so if you enjoy this post please head over to the form here. This iS open to everyone, please don't worry about your language skills, or even if you think your holiday traditions aren't very interesting, I want to hear from you!
The first spinner is Victoria...
I love to cook, garden (although fighting the weeds around here is a losing battle); I run the public library in West Chester, love to knit! love handspinning even more... all that lovely lovely fiber.
I live in West Chester, Pennsylvania, USA (actually about 10 miles west of the town, out in what passes as the boonies around here, meaning we have deer, fox, owls, hawks, mink, and all sorts of other wonderful wild neighbours).
I celebrate Christmas (because it's there and family tradition); Winter Solstice with my husband, two step children and their partners, my mother, brother and his family, and my sister (often via Skype as she's off in other parts of the world working in the foreign service)
We celebrate over two days, first we have a big family do with food, gifts, and loads of cookies on the 24th, we now pull names for the gift exchange. Then on the 25th our children and my mother come to our house for chrristmas presents and a big brunch. Then we all sit around gabbing, drinking too much coffee, watching bad movies and keeping the dogs from making a total mess of things.
So, I decided I should share a bit about how many in the US hang stockings (preferably over a fire place) on Christmas Eve. I never did this as a child - we celebrated St Nicholas Day on the 6th December because that was what my German-born mother knew. Once I got married and had two fabulous step-children ages 8 and 10 (this is quite a while ago now), the Christmas stockings became a whole other thing. My husband and I bought little, funny presents (and chocolates!), which we wrapped on Christmas Eve (after the children had gone to bed), and put in their stockings . On Christmas morning the children were allowed to get their stockings and open those little presents - it was a way to keep them occupied until a somewhat decent hour for getting up came around for us parents (like 7am instead of 6am) and regular present-opening could begin. Rules about those little presents - NOTHING that makes noise! Flashlights may also be a bad idea as we had those shone in our faces at some unholy hour one year. We still hang the stockings... it's tradition. And, it's fun. This is why I'm madly knitting on a lovely DROPS pattern for a new stocking for one of us... My stocking is the one on the right. My paternal grandmother knit that for me when I was about 8 or 9.
Finally, I do have to share a wonderful tradition in these parts. Longwood Gardens (think Kew), has a magical and wonderful Christmas light display throughout their outdoor gardens and in the main Conservatory. It's absolutely mobbed all through December - one can only get timed tickets to get in. This gives the barest hint of what it looks like.
My favourite things to eat at this time of year are Ginger Drop cookies (happy to share the recipe), smoked salmon; pecan pie.
The most ambitious thing I've ever made as gifts are 13 little fulled bowls out of left overs in my stash for the Morning Fiber group I belong to!
Over the holiday period ideally I'd love to spin several hours each day between christmas and new years ( if I can get the week off work!) I have romney, southdown, silk, etc etc to spin.
A huge thanks to Victoria for taking the time to share her holidays... come back tomorrow for another spinner!