Friday, November 23, 2018

For The First Time In Many Years, I'm Going To Allow Myself To Enjoy The Month Of December

I spent most of today in the workshop working on the cool handcrafted items that we'll be offering for the Bodacious 12 Days of Christmas that starts Monday. Shortly before Lisa arrived home from work, I finished up the housework. I didn't have to worry about dinner prep because we'll be feasting on leftovers for the next couple of days.

I love the day after Thanksgiving. And no, it has nothing to do with it being Black Friday. Lisa and I don't partake in the craziness of Black Friday.

It has everything to do with it being what I consider the official start of the Christmas season.

And, it officially marks the end of the millions of memes that slather social media streams about those who put up their tree before Thanksgiving.

In addition to working on a lot of gorgeous holiday-themed handcrafted items for the Bodacious 12 Days of Christmas, we've got a few other things up our sleeves including a few handcrafted gifts.

This weekend, Lisa is planning on decorating the outdoors for Christmas as she always does. We're also setting time aside to put up our Christmas tree and indoor decorations.

Over the next week or so, I'll be digging out the kid's Christmas apparel because I'm determined to get some decent Christmas photos.

For some reason this year, I'm feeling exceptionally festive.

Apparently, Lisa has taken notice of my jovial burst of Christmas spirit.

She asked about it over dinner this evening.

"You've always loved Christmas, but this year you are really getting into it without all of the stress. It's nice to see that. What's different about this year?"

For the next hour, we talked about it.

I narrowed it down to a few things.

1. This is the first year that we're not doing Holiday Bodacious Biscuit Love. For 4 years, we did and it was beyond crazy, busy stressful. I was still baking holiday biscuit love the week before Christmas. Once that was done, I didn't want to bake anything. That was unusual for me because I always looked forward to my annual Christmas baking day that took place a few days before Christmas.

Just because we're not baking Holiday Bodacious Biscuit Love doesn't mean we're not doing great stuff. We're still sending out Bodacious Holiday Care Packages to pet parents in need, spreading holiday cheer to those who have fallen on hard times or need a little light, and we're making a couple of huge Bodacious Holiday Bundles for our local animal shelters.

2. This is also the first year that we didn't sign up to participate in any Christmas events. In the past, we'd spend a few days before the event preparing for it. By the time the day of the event rolled along, we were exhausted. After setting up, getting through the event, packing up, travel, bringing everything back into the house and putting it away, we were wiped out. And, the day was over and done with.

3. Any Christmas shopping that we had to do is done. I did it all online. A week ago when the early Black Friday sales surfaced. I scored some awesome deals. Beyond awesome. As in Happy-Dance-While-I-Was-Sick awesome.

The rest of the gifts will be handmade and baked and like every year, we'll be giving our Christmas baskets as gifts. They're filled with homemade treats, handmade gifts, a few store bought items, gift cards, and a card.

4. Oh' Christmas Cards, O' Christmas Cards. Lisa has to run a couple of errands over the weekend. On the list are Christmas cards. My goal is to have them all made out and sent by next weekend.

5. We're not hosting any holiday parties. Last year, I dedicated my birthday to hosting a Holiday Love and Cheer Party. It had been a difficult year for so many. We wanted to spread some holiday love. We had a lengthy list of guests. Unfortunately, we had a snowstorm on that day. But, the party went on with our neighborhood tribe and a couple of other guests.

This year, we have no holiday parties planned in our home.

With the exception of Christmas Day. We're having a couple of our favorite humans over for dinner. We're looking forward to it. 

It's so much work to host a holiday party and we've always done it year after year. This year, we'd like to be the ones invited. I know that sounds shallow, but...we're at that point. If we're invited, fine. If not, fine.

6. We're kind of just doing our own thing. It feels good to be in that mode. Getting back to basics. Keeping it simple. There is nothing wrong with that.

Too often, too many people get caught up in the hustle and bustle and stress of the holiday season. They spend too much. They cave to the expectations. They try to climb the ladder of holiday perfection.

It doesn't have to be that way.

For the first time in many years, I'm allowing myself to enjoy my favorite month of the year. December. I need this.

We need this. I think we all do. 

The past few years have been so difficult. We've lost a considerable amount of family and friends to illnesses and age.

If anything, that has taught us to slow down a bit. Exhale.

More so, it's taught us that the Christmas season isn't about running yourself ragged, spending more moiney than you should, or exhausting yourself with hosting holiday parties to please the masses.

It's about making memories, embracing tradition, creating new traditions, exhaling and enjoying yourself, being in the moment, and being present.

That's what we're doing.

We learned a lot from our Simple Bodacious Thanksgiving.

That's the direction we are heading towards.

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