As promised, the non-insane holiday series...
Okay, guys. I've held off for as long as I possibly can, in deference to those of you who gag if people mention the holidays anytime before Thanksgiving. But I love this time of year. I love the bustle and the family and the food. I've been slowly buying gifts for the last two months.
I know the season can be stressful and I find that sad. I think it's all the expectations and the hype. We stare at other people's perfect table settings, we read about gourmet turkey cooking methods, we stress over finding perfect gifts. As a type A person, I can understand the pressure, but I'm slowly deciding to let. it. go. So for the three days leading up to Thanksgiving (my absolute favorite holiday, ever) I'm sharing some of my tips. And I hope you'll chime in with your own.
For today - decide what you hate and what you love. Sit down right now and make a list. What memories do you have? What feelings do you want to capture? What experiences do you want to avoid?
For me, the holidays are all about experiences. I love being at home. I love the feel of the heirloom crocheted lace tablecloth we use for Thanksgiving dinner, shaking it out, pressing it into place, the glow of candle light, the smell of cookies baking. I love the sounds of people laughing and the Vienna boys' choir singing traditional Christmas carols in the background. I love drinking hot tea early in the morning, watching the lights twinkle on the tree, feeling at peace.
There are also things that drive me crazy. I can't set foot in a shopping center after Halloween. I hate the terrible smooth jazz versions of Christmas carols and the frantic atmosphere makes me panic. I hate the cheesy commercials for diamond necklaces that air constantly on TV.
I feel most festive and happy when I'm tucked up in my apartment, baking or sewing or reading. So I shop on Etsy and Amazon and commit to a couple of homemade projects that I know I'll enjoy. I love the cooking and baking, so I spend long hours looking at recipes and making grocery lists. But that's because I like it. If you don't like it, don't do it. Your likes and dislikes will be different than mine (I'd love to hear about them!), so tailor your holiday around them.
Tomorrow - how to be prepared for parties.