Brown Paper Packages

It never fails. As the holidays come and go, I am always left feeling melancholy. Melancholy that the holiday hype is over. Melancholy that family and friends have to return to their ordinary lives and that lights have to come down. Melancholy that I can’t squeeze in just one more viewing of Elf. (Or can I? Really, who would know…)

Then, as the peaceful quietness settles in once again and the house looks emptier and suddenly fresher, I am instilled with a renewed sense of vigor. I suddenly want to take on new projects and make changes and just focus on the future. Christmas is a time for reflecting on the past, and the New Year is a time for thinking of what I want for the year to come.

With my nesting instincts in full gear this time last year, 2013 was the year of organizing. From the gadgets floating around aimlessly in kitchen drawers to the spare sheets in my linen closet, everything found a home. And many things were forced to take up residency elsewhere. It felt so great to purge. I recall taking on my organizational projects in the hopes that it would make life with a newborn easier, and it truly has. Even though clothes may sit folded on the floor of my closet waiting to be put away longer than I care to admit on occasion, there is a place for everything and everything (almost) always ends up back in its’ place. Eventually.

This year though, I want to focus my energy elsewhere. For me, 2014 is going to be the year of creativity. Creativity in my cooking, because I have been inspired to eat a more plant based, whole foods diet now that Penny is sharing in meals with us. Creativity in how I spend my time, because I am tired of sitting in front of a screen for hours every night watching shows I don’t particularly care about just to clear up the DVR and Netflix queue. Creativity in how I express my feelings and document our lives. I want to take more time to read and to photograph and to write. Not just for the blog, but for myself. Thoughts, things I want to remember, poetry. (And a super awesome matron of honor speech for a certain sister’s wedding coming up this summer…) Creativity in how I foster imaginative play with my daughter. Designing a playroom, creating a cozy reading nook… (what would I do without you Pinterest?)

I look forward to this New Year that I get to spend with a caring partner and sweet daughter who will continue to amaze us as she grows at lightning speed before our very eyes. And so, here is one last nostalgic look at our first holiday as a family of three (photographs courtesy of my amazing sister,, and to accompany them, my first creative endeavor of the year: a Christmas poem.

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Brown Paper Packages

by Melanie Kiernicki

I dream of snowflakes

Crystal shapes

Glittery fluffy snow,

I dream of fires

Crackling warmth

A soft pale amber glow.

I dream of cocoa

Steaming mugs

Melting chocolate bliss,

I dream of cheeks

Rosy cold

Warmed by a tender kiss.

I dream of evergreen

Fresh pine boughs

Weighed down by orbs of gold,

I dream of heirlooms

Gilded frames

Photos of young and old.

I dream of melodies

Nat King Cole

Distant silver bell rings,

I dream of classics

Black and white

Clarence earning his wings.

I dream of packages

Paper brown

Nestled beneath the tree,

I dream of hands,

Untying the strings

Sharing presents with glee.

I dream of moments

Captured film

Proof for us all to see,

I dream of stories

Ours retold

When it was just us three.


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