Here and Now: The Holidays

One of the drawbacks of living in the moment is I am not doing my holiday planning like normal. Typically I start making lots of list about mid-October: Thanksgiving menu, selecting cookies recipes to bake, Christmas shopping lists and planning out the calendar. When will we do “Christmas Story” night or look at Christmas lights? It feels weird to not be planning all this out but I am wondering if maybe this can be a good thing? Maybe this Christmas will be much simpler?

I finally made a few lists last week and started buying the non-perishable items for Thanksgiving. My heart wasn’t in it though. I wrote out the Thanksgiving menu and then a list of ten, TEN, different items I should prep ahead of time. This for a dinner for three people and when I am trying not to have many leftovers. Maybe next year I will be ready to change up the menu but for this year I am sticking with our traditional feast, just in smaller quantities. I did ask the family what they would change and the answer was “nothing”. So no help there.

Love autumn leaves!

And then I realized, yes I have ten different items to prep but smaller quantities will make a difference with quite a few of the items. And my son will make the pie. And honestly, I don’t have any overly complicated recipes so while the list seems long the time involved isn’t so bad. And by Thanksgiving week I will be excited to do the food prep. So I am giving myself permission to do the grocery shopping and then forget about Thanksgiving until I am ready for it.

I also made a Christmas shopping list and when I got to seven different stores I said “enough”. Even now I feel a little sick looking at shopping lists and menus and ideas for potlucks. Right now I am not the least bit interested in Christmas. I suspect (and hope) this changes with the arrival of December.

The big events that need to be planned ahead are done. We have our Polar Express tickets and reservations for Flagstaff, “Nutcracker” tickets as well as tickets for the New Year’s Eve Road Runner hockey game. But everything else is up in the air. Scarily I am okay with this. More than okay actually, I am excited to see how the holidays unfold with fewer expectations. And, dare I say, less work?

Kind of surprised at how happy I am with Jimmy Butler.

For now I am going back to my drawing and reading and watching Miami Heat basketball. No need to get caught up in holiday hoopla too soon.

The In-Between Time

I always feel a little off balance this time of year.  Thanksgiving weekend is over but I am not ready to jump into Christmas.  I prefer to wait until 1  December to go all holiday.  

It is hard for me to let go of autumn, it is my favorite season.  I love the angle of the light and the smells and the leaves.  

Beautiful blue sky!

Christmas is a lot of work, a marathon of busyness.  I am already looking at what I can cut from the to-do list, scaling back the baking list and thinking about where I can trim back on the decorating.  I look at the calendar and make sure I schedule downtime, movie time, early bedtime.  

For this week I am deep breathing and sitting and contemplating.  I am focusing on how I want to feel over the next month, not what I want/need to accomplish.  I remind myself that I need to enjoy the process.  There is no sense in baking/wrapping/decorating if I am hating doing it.  I need to keep things manageable.  

I need to take care of myself.  You need to take care of yourself too.  Take some time this week to remember what is important to you.  And keep that in your thoughts as you shop, cook, wrap and decorate.

Happy last week of November everyone!                       

The Ability To Do Nothing

I wish I had this ability. And what exactly would the definition of ‘nothing’ be?  Meditating?  Sitting in the sun?  Staring mindlessly at the television? Hmm.

Anyway, I have been fighting this oddball sinus issue that could last weeks more. Things are getting better but I still have bouts of vertigo and the occasional headache. I have been trying to take things easy but…. while the last thing I want is to be sick at Christmas (which happened last year and really sucked) there is just so much to do.

I have always been a work first and then play kind of girl but the problem with being a stay at home mom is the work is never done. I have been struggling mightily with trying to balance my life. I am making progress in the right direction.  I am doing much better with single tasking, taking breaks and focusing on enjoying tasks, or at least the results from chores.

I have every intention of feeling joy with everything I do the entire holiday season.  I may not succeed but I certainly intend to try.  And if a task isn’t bringing me joy in some way why am I doing it?  My holiday season will run from December 6th, St. Nicholas’s birthday through January 6th, Epiphany.  Lots of fun stuff is planned but I will be sure to include some down days as well.

This week will be busy with all those once a month tasks:  church Guild meeting and luncheon, change counting and once a month bowling league.  Hoping to get most of the Christmas shopping finished too.  And I have to put away autumn which always makes me a little sad.  Autumn is by far my favorite season and I feel annoyed when everyone rushes into Christmas  before Thanksgiving is even over.

But the two weeks after this one?  I will be happy to spend lots of time at home wrapping and baking and adding decorations gradually.   I even plan to find some moments to simply sit and take it all in.

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I did get this Christmas beauty out to use for the Guild luncheon tomorrow!