Maybe it is because we have had an unusually mild autumn that lasted right through November. No snow yet to remind us of the time of year. Maybe it is because we bought a winter home in Florida, thereby insuring a lack of a large amount of discretionary cash to spend on the holidays. Maybe it is just that we have reached that stage in life. We are not so much slowing down as spending more time examining our intentions. In any case, less is appealing this year. The frenzy of the holiday season...I am just not going there.
This is not to say that I am ignoring the season. I put together two advent boxes for my grand kids. I wrap up little gifts...candy, coins, crayons and colored pencils, stickers, an ornament or two...twenty-four of them for both kids. I get a real sense of joy in doing this because it makes them happy to pull out a little surprise each day while waiting for Santa.
I made most of my Christmas cards this year. I got together with friends a couple of times to work on cards and it felt like no pressure at all. It felt like feeding my creative spirit.
I decorated the house yesterday--1 day and I am done. I took out less than a fourth of my decorations, but the house still feels festive.
This morning I did my shopping, but nothing on my list of things to buy required standing in line on Thanksgiving night waiting for big box stores to open. One trip to the mall on an early morning workday. Avoiding crowds gives me satisfaction. I hope the record spending is a good sign for the economy, but I am glad I did not feel I had to participate. Now it is on to wrapping, but that is one of my favorite things about the holiday.
I will have my family for an early Christmas, I will deconstruct the decorations, and then we will head to Mike's daughters to spend Christmas Day in South Carolina. We will be in Florida before New Year's Day this year.
I have thrown away my "Have To Do" list and am justgoing with what feels pleasant and satisfying to me.