"Self-sufficiency does not mean 'going back' to the acceptance of a lower standard of living. On the contrary, it is the striving for a higher standard of living, for food that is organically grown and good, for the good life in pleasant surroundings... and for the satisfaction that comes from doing difficult and intricate jobs well and successfully." John Seymour ~ Self Sufficiency 2003

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Advent days

I was horrified last night to hear on Sky News that certain church ministers in England are sending out Christmas cards with no reference to the actual "reason of the season". À la a non-descriptive "Festive Greetings" or some such.  This is supposedly to avoid "offending" people of other religious inclinations.  Whaaaat?  Ermmm, am I missing something?  The very word and celebration of Christmas is derived from the birth and name of Christ.  If they are not Christians, why should they be offended?

To me this is another indication how crazy this world is becoming.  Those ministers should be relieved of their duties...

But, on to the subject of this posting.

I made a very simple Advents Kranz this year.
Our simple Advents Kranz this year
I have a set of four brass candlesticks - collected over the years - as well as a pair from my late mother-in-law.  But I felt like a change.  So, the candle sticks I'm using in the kranz this year are recycled spice bottles which have been filled with white coloured sand and the top lid screw section I covered with a strip of pewter.  The bed of golden tipped greenery comes from a Leyland Cypress - we have three growing in our garden.
Repurposing empty spice bottles into candle
sticks worked - I lov
e the simplicity of the
arrangement this year
I have loads of empty glass jars which I refuse to add to landfill / send for recycling.  Why, when I can used them to preserve this year's harvest, or put them to another use around the house.
Reindeer à la South Africa :)

Reindeer are not available in this country - the best we can do is springbok. The pic above is of a baby springbok on a neighbours smallholding and which was born a couple of weeks ago.


Vicki said...

Your Advents Kranz is lovely, made more so by repurposing the spice jars. I love finding a use for something that others consider junk.

I find it sad that even ministers are bowing to the idol of "political correctness." It seems that here, all it takes is for one person to declare themselves offended and another Christmas tradition dies.

That being said, if anyone is offended when I wish you and yours a Very Merry Christmas, well, that's just too bad!

Sol said...

Your Advent Kranz is really pretty.

I like Christmas, I am not keen on all the crazy stuff.

Cute springbok

Diana Studer said...

I was admiring your candlesticks ... even before you explained!

Quinn said...

Ooh, I like your Adventskranz VERY much, Dani! It's simple and elegant and meaningful and forest-y. Plus, I learned a new word :)

Harry Flashman said...

We have the same problem here with political correctness. It only seems to work one way though, since other people seem to do and say whatever they want to and it's ok for them.

I never heard of an Adventskranz but I like the way it looks. Very Christmasy.

africanaussie said...

That adventkranz looks so pretty,great idea to re-use the spice bottles.,and who needs reindeer when you have springbok! I wish you and your family a very Happy Christmas.

1st Man said...

How beautiful is all that? Nice job and love the elegant simplicity.

And I've never seen a Springbok before today but now I can say I have! Of course I bet seeing one in person is way cooler, ha.

kymber said...

Dani - your Adventkranz is beautiful! and i have also never seen a springbok before but they are beautiful too!

i recently saw a sign on someone's blog that said "Christmas trees for sale - $5 dollars. Holiday trees for sale -$10 dollars" - bahhahahah! oh it takes all kinds to make a world or something!

because our house is so small we haven't ever put up a christmas tree here. but why would we when we are surrounded on all sides with beautiful evergreens and when the snow comes it acts as beautiful decorations. we do put lights up on our apple trees tho. and we never forget the reason for the season.

much love to you and yours this holiday season, Dani. much love. your friend,

Dani said...

Vicki - Political religious correctness is a crock!!

A Peaceful, Blessed and Happy Christmas to you and yours, Vicki :)

Dani said...

Sol - Thank you. I find it is the traditional decor of Christmas which adds to the feeling of the season :)

Dani said...

Diana - LOL Thank you :)

Dani said...

Quinn - Thank you. I'm happy with the way it turned out too :)

Dani said...

Harry - The Advents Kranz (wreath) is a German tradition (RMan, though born in SA, is of German parents). it symbolizes the passage of the four weeks of Advent, beginning with the 1st Sunday in Advent and ending with the last Sunday before Christmas. Sometimes a fifth candle is used - this is then lit on Christmas Eve.

Dani said...

africanaussie - Thank you. A very Happy Christmas to you and yours too :)

Dani said...

1st Man - Springbok are wonderful, graceful creatures. Seeing them in person is special, but seeing a baby one - priceless :)

Dani said...

kymber - Thank you :)

I can imagine with all the snow-laden branches the necessity to bring a real tree indoors is superfluous. Oh, how lucky you are :)

Would love to see a pic of your light laden apple tree :)

Tania @ Out Back said...

It saddens me to hear something like that. JESUS is the reason for the Season!

Love your Advent Kranz Dani :)


Dani said...

Tania - Precisely!!

Thanks Tania :)

Chickpea said...

The springbok is so beautiful!

I'm not a christian but I still wish people happy xmas if they are a christian, and I'm not offended if they wish me a happy xmas. Hopefully they won't take offence if I wish them happy solstice. Live and let live is my philosophy.

Dani said...

Chickpea - Happily, to each, their own. And that includes their religious inclinations. But, to avoid offending people by generalizing an important Christian event / celebration is beyond comprehension as far as I'm concerned.

The Jews / Muslims / Hindi's / Budda's, Tao's / Shinto's / Pagans / Mormons, etc... - not one of them even considers, let alone makes allowance for political relgious correctness!

Leigh said...

The sad thing about secularizing Christmas is that now it doesn't mean anything. Yet they want to keep it alive to make money. If we can't mention the reason for the season, then what's the point. I know a number of folks who've simply given it up for that reason.

Have to add my admiration for the springbok. Perhaps some of your 'pacas would be willing to sport reindeer antlers for the holiday?

Dani said...

Leigh - I couldn't imagine a year with a Christmas ;) T'is important too for children - how else would they know of the reason for the season?

Nope - doubt that the alpacas would oblige. Would probably be too much even for Minky ;: