and it begins

Today is December 1st.  24 days remaining until Christmas.

In recent years, my holiday mojo has been declining. What used to be so fun now just seems like drudgery, something to get through. This year, I vow it will be different.

I took a look back at what brought the unfun in past years – it was the stress. From doing too much and buying too much. Things started off well enough most of the time, but then quickly spun out of control. I could not catch my breath en0ugh to find the joy in any of it.

Not this year, dammit.

New Rule #1.  Buy less.  Whatever we buy this year has to be paid for with cash, so we have to watch it carefully.  And really, we don’t NEED anything. Sure, I like a present as much as the next person, but I can get by with a new peeler and maybe a Tom Bihn bag.  And I will try to get the kids a few things they really want, but no need to go nuts as in years past. No more artsy kits that sit unused, or plastic bits of crap.

New Rule #2.  Make more. Which goes along with Rule #1.  I have several handmade gifts on my list.  I’ll be saving money and moving onto…

New Rule #3.  Do the joyful things.  Like making presents.  Decorating. Cookies! Christmas music. Lights. A day downtown.  Things that memories are made of.

New Rule #4. Keep track. I’m really hoping that my mom’s old-fashioned way of organizing will help me stay on top of the madness. I got a tiny spiral notebook, and made notes for food I want to make, each person on my list, crafts  to do, and money spent. I used to try to do that in Google docs, but for some reason it never really worked. In this case, I think physically keeping it all together might do the trick.  We shall see.

New Rule #5. Let it go.I don’t need to do a big party every year with lots of expensive food and work.  Soup and cookies are just fine. Ham sandwiches on Christmas Day.

When all else fails, have a cocktail and find some little thing to be grateful for. Find the quiet of the season.  Wishing you all peace this month.


7 responses to “and it begins”

  1. Excellent advice for all of us. I, too, have made a big effort in advance to enjoy the holiday season. It occurred to me this year that it isn’t up to me to make the holiday wonderful for everyone else at the expense of my sanity. I am asking for more help and letting some things go.

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