Brightening up Dark Days and Nights

If your children (or you) are having nightmares following the tragic events at Newtown, then we have something in common.  After a restless night, this morning I woke up thinking about dreamcatchers. You know, those netted hoops decorated with feathers that some Native American tribes used (and perhaps still use) as sacred objects. I remember making a dreamcatcher with my niece years ago. After a loss, she was also having trouble sleeping, and the idea of making something that could keep bad dreams away was pretty tantalizing.

The project required a little more dexterity than she could muster at the time, but I was there with a steady hand (and a couple of cookies for afterward). It was a nice interlude.  We spent quality time together huddled around the table playing with string.  She kept the dreamcatcher (which turned out pretty nicely) over her bed for years.  I still look back on that time fondly.

I was thinking that making a dreamcatcher as crafty therapy for sadness -- and to ward off bad dreams (even in a symbolic way) -- isn't such a bad idea if you have kids around.  You'll find all the supplies you'll need at your local craft store.  They consist of: a ring, ribbon (or leather strips), string (or sinew), beads and feathers. I have a couple of links to helpful YouTube tutorials below. Dreamcatchers are easier to make than they look -- getting started is really the hardest part.

Also, I was rummaging around my bookshelves for a copy of Virginia O'Hanlon's 1897 letter to the New York newspaper The Sun that inspired the famous editorial "Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Clause."  I finally found it in an anthology I bought back when I was in college.  It's a wonderful short piece.  If you'd like to reread it -- or read it for the first time, here's a quick online link:  Yes, Virginia . . . by Francis Pharcellus Church

Here's to better tidings (hopefully of comfort and joy) in the days and months to come.

Photo: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a9/Atrapasuenos-background-free.jpgBy Jorge Barrios [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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