The Holidays Approach!

ImageI type this with a soy decaf gingerbread latte by my side and Frosty the Snowman playing on Spotify.

Yes, it is time for the holidays.

To me, November 1st signals the beginning of the holidays. The first few weeks are a celebration of autumn. The temperature actually begins to drop a bit in Georgia, my cooking is laden with autumn squashes, cinnamon, and apples, the cardigans and scarves come out and I relish the early evenings spent reading under a quilt.
Thanksgiving approaches and then it is all out Christmas. I LOVE Christmas. I didn’t even like the holiday until I had children, but now I am all about some Christmas.

I thought I’d share our holidays with you all this year. I’d like to give weekly updates on what we’re doing to prep, how we celebrate, and what I’m using to help through the season.
Next week I’ll be discussing my plans for my first vegetarian Thanksgiving and our family tree-trimming party we have just before Thanksgiving.

This week I am writing to share, but to also solidify in my mind, my goals for this holiday season.
My goal for this holiday season is to be thankful. Thankful for my family, thankful for my books, thankful for my job, thankful for the weather, thankful for gingerbread lattes. It is easy to assume that the holidays lend themselves to thankfulness, but I’ve found this to not be true all the time.
Money gets tight. I worry that I don’t buy enough for the kids. I worry about making happy memories. I worry about the house being too messy. I worry about my picture perfect idea of the holidays being filled with angelic children, a clean house, baked goods that never fail, impeccably wrapped gifts and sprinkled with gobs of crafting/knitting/stitching/reading all completed.
Hello, reality. Atticus will be wound up at Christmas and there will be tantrums. Hope will sometimes be bored. Persy Jane will have grumpy baby days. Sam and I will probably argue more than once. The laundry will be in piles. I will probably burn something in the oven. I will be tired. I will finish things late. I will not finish some things. The house will not be wonderfully clean and shiny.
All of this is okay.

Atticus will wake at 5 am and cuddle with me under the big quilt and excitedly tell me about Santa. Hope will stay up late giggling and helping me wrap gifts. Persy Jane will be fascinated by the holiday lights. Sam and I will spend a fair amount of time making out on the couch and drinking egg nog and cocoa (in between the smooches, of course). Sometimes the laundry will be done. Most of theย  time I won’t burn the baking. I will be happy. I will finish some things. I will enjoy making and creating and not be obsessed with finishing. Along with the mess will be signs of my vibrant, happy, full life. I have my loves… we’re healthy and happy and together.
All of this makes my heart sing.
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When I think back on my favorite holiday memories as a child they don’t include… oh.. yeah… mom made rosemary wreaths, assembled 12 holiday trays, and handmade every toy. My favorite holiday memories are of decorating sugar cookies, Johnny Mathis Christmas albums, looking at Christmas lights, seeing my dad more (he worked a lot), and enjoying the freedom of slowing down, sleeping in, and the act of opening presents.
I want to create memories with my kids. Not a catalog of accomplishments, but a feeling of love, community, and thankfulness. A true appreciation of life.

An early happy holidays to you! Let’s make this a memorable one!
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