This holiday season really snuck up on me this year, and it seems like everyone I know is feeling the same way. Like one week was magically removed from the calendar and we're all scrambling to catch up and get everything done in time.
And yet, I've managed to maintain my goal of recent years of keeping things simple and inexpensive (relatively). I've found that I am more mentally at peace going into holiday celebrations (and all the commercialism and "stuff" that inevitably comes along with them), if I have done my part to stay local and handmade in my gift giving.
And although I didn't seem to have the time to handmake many of my own gifts this year (as I have in years past), I ordered most gifts online from local merchants and stuck to handmade items for the most part. That kept me out of the traffic and the malls, which always seem to make me cranky about the whole gift-giving endeavor....
I revised my plans for our holiday card when we all fell ill the day we were supposed to have our pictures taken and ordered a card with a picture of Sadie from this fall.
Brian and I collaborated on putting together our annual holiday CD (a tradition of mine for nearly a decade now) and somehow managed to get it done in time. Long gone are the days of drinking Bloody Marys all morning and making the CD together while listening to our entire music collection. This year it was more about emails back and forth and each of us working on it a little bit while the other was out and about or at work. But it got done, and we're loving it. Hope our friends and family will too.
This morning I sent off the last of our holiday packages, and by getting to the post office before they opened, avoided the hours-long line that many experience this time of year.
I've already experienced some holiday events that have put me in the mood for celebrating, namely our annual bookclub holiday party (with husbands), and our annual high tea at the Brown Palace. And what a treat it was for Sadie to join us for the first time. The magic of this event was heightened even more by her participation and wonder.
And now that nearly everything is crossed off my to-do lists, I'm ready to celebrate. I'm so happy that I've made it through all these holiday tasks with minimal stress. Now I can enter into the remainder of the season with a clear mind and heart and open myself up to what these celebrations are really about. I am so excited to settle in with my loved ones with a warm drink to savor the season. Delicious food (the cooking and the eating), music, fireplaces, twinkling lights, and friends and family. Bring it on...I'm ready, and I can't wait.