This was the first year since I have been with my husband that we spent Christmas with his family. We had always spent Thanksgiving with them and Christmas with mine. Since our place is a wee small, we decided to rent a beach house steps away from the ocean. My husband’s brother is an artist that creates beauty with gems from the earth, so I was inspired by both him and a friend of mine Amanda (Soule Mama) to start a new tradition for the holidays: a Gratitude Garland.
Each of us gathered beachy gems and bark and leaves from around the beach house. We then sat around the table with wine and music and conversation and painted on them with the intention and mindfulness of what we were grateful for. It was a practice in slowing down and breathing in and being present during a season that can feel overwhelming at times.
When it was all strung together and hung the next morning on the porch, I felt chills. It was beautiful, so beautiful in such an organic and free way. I wondered why I had never thought to do this before. To string together treasures and hang across a room or outside on a porch or from tree to tree in a backyard. It doesn’t need to just be beachy gems. It can be pages of your favorite quotes or pieces of fabric from clothes that meant something to you or dried flowers from a romantic evening. It could be anything we would want it to be. It could be our life’s work, our dreams, our hopes, our manifestations, our prayers. It could be treasures we are holding onto but want to set free in the wind so the energy of those memories will live on forever.
We are moving to a a new home in June of 2011. I now see myself putting in a beautiful box items that are precious to me and that I could see hung across a long piece of twine. Boho Gratitude Garland’s strung throughout my home.