We’ve been at Disneyland with my family for Thanksgiving and during the holidays I think that it is even more magical than normal. Everything was decorated for Christmas and so it has gotten me into the yuletide spirit! Our download today will help you with your Christmas crafting.
It comes in 3 versions – a large and small as well this gift tag so you can do all kinds of crazy Christmas things as you countdown to the big day.
We are hosting a neighborhood Christmas party on Wednesday. I’m excited to “break in” our new home with a big event. I don’t have to do the food or the planning of the actual event but you know how it goes when something is held at your house – I have plenty to do to get ready.
But I have recognized something in myself this year. We have had a lot of years of “temporary” living while Jason rehabilitated from his car accident. During that time we lived in tiny apartments or borrowed spaces and I haven’t done a lot of entertaining. In fact, when we built our home I wanted a fresh start and so I have given away or sold off many of the things we used to own in favor of a chance to start over again.
This process has not only been necessary to keep things simple when we moved around and tried to fit in small spaces but it has also been an emotional and mental cleansing process where I have learned that I can let go of almost everything while I gather in only what I really love or really need.
So, I sit here with no Christmas decorations in storage except for a nativity, our stockings, a few ornaments and my collection of Christmas books, wondering what else I want to add to my holiday totes and bins. There is something very restful about starting from scratch and not putting pressure on myself to “do it all” this year but instead, to simply start the gathering process with a little this year, a little next year, etc.
The question becomes…what do I want to do this year, in time for the party, that will bring the holiday spirit? There is a catch, though. I have learned the value of limiting what I take on so that the things I do create only the amount of work for myself that will hover below the “overload” line and remain in the “this is fun” area on my personal stress meter.
I have involved other people to help me – that keeps my stress low. Christmas lights are done by professionals at our house. I can’t mentally risk someone else’s life on my roof when they are not properly insured! Done.
I have a couple of wreaths layered together that I think will go above the fireplace. I’ll keep the wreath I have on the door because it’s full of red and greenery and will look fabulous in an untraditional way. I think I’ll hang the stockings – this year there is still just two but next year we’ll make room for one more. It’s hard to believe that this is our last Christmas with just the two of us.
I’ll fill the candy jars with Christmas candy and the Bath & Body Works Wallflowers will all be replaced with holiday scents. I’ve broken out the Christmas music and of course, the nativity and Christmas books will find a home outside of storage as well.
I think we have settled on a place for the Christmas tree – which will be artificial. Doing it all on my own, I need something simple to manage and I’ve found a great option that looks very real and is tall and skinny to fit in the space and still allow lots of room for Jason to maneuver. Maybe I’ll go do that today at our Tai Pan Trading. I think I’m just going to keep the lights on it for the party and not worry about decorating it before Wednesday. It will be pretty just like that and the thought of decorating it from scratch in the next day puts me too close to the stress mark. Who knows, I may leave it like that till Christmas even. I’m ok with figuring out the ornament part next year.
I found some cool garlands that weren’t traditional greenery and I’ve been thinking about them for a couple of weeks. I might pick those up for the stair banister. We’ll see if I still like them when I go back to the store.
I’ll show you photos of what I end up doing – but this post is not so much about giving ideas of more “stuff” to do for the holidays. You have enough stuff. Today’s post is all about giving you permission to take a step back, think about starting fresh, let go, only do what is necessary or what you love. It seemed like the only way to truly teach that principle is to show you how I am doing it for myself.
Whatever level of “Christmas-er” you are, whether you go all out or keep it simple, take the time to evaluate your stress and see if there are ways to manage it a little better this year. It’s your life, your choice, your time. As I was reminded while at Disneyland last week, the holidays are meant to be magical – here’s permission to enjoy them.
Happy December 1st!