Monday, November 4, 2013

Calendars, Lists, And Wine. Right Up There With Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh When It Comes To Happy Holiday Celebrations.

I feel like once Halloween passes, the holiday race begins.  At this point, we're all lined up on the starting blocks, shaking out our arms and legs to keep them loose, and pressing our goggles into our face so they don't leak.  We're visualizing our desired outcome: joyful holiday gatherings, meaningful family moments, a lovely home, thoughtfully selected and beautifully wrapped presents, the sounds and smells of the season wafting from our home each and every day.  Right now though, we're working to stay calm and focused, but we know the gun will go off any second and then it's full-speed ahead to the finish line.

Holidays can be stressful - physically and emotionally.  But even if you're taking a minimalist approach to the season's events, you're going to need to make some plans.  I'm not a freak planner, but I have learned over the last year, that I'm happier if I've put some effort into planning ahead.  Even Santa made a list - and checked it twice!  Perhaps that added to his jolly attitude.  I never feel great if I'm constantly doing things last minute: things I saw coming, but for whatever reason blew off or delayed or completely forgot.  I'd rather enjoy a glass or two of wine in celebration of the season, not in an effort to drown out holiday fails.  I want to be fully present for the holidays - each year the season is a totally different experience and I don't want to miss a single moment of this one.

That said, I'm using this week to come up with a game plan.  I'm taking Benjamin Franklin's advice to heart:  "If you fail to plan, you're planning to fail."  As I was Googling this quote to make sure I had the wording and the author correct, I found another quote that carried a similar meaning, but incorporated a bit more feeling and, dare I say, holiday magic?

"To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe."
- Anatole France

So, get yourself some good old paper calendar pages for November and December.  I like the full month of squares on one sheet because I'm the person who sometimes believes December has more days than it actually does.  Print calendar copies from the computer if you have to, then mark dates on them for all the events and activities you'd like to or need to accomplish in the next couple months.  Back out the steps necessary to make those a reality, then follow your plan through the season.  Write in pencil, of course, because life requires an eraser from time to time.   If we do this, I think we'll all find we actually have more time to just soak in and be present to all the holiday goodness and eliminate the last minute freak outs, panic attacks, and general crabbiness that tend to take away a bit from the holiday joy.

On your mark, get set, go!

I'm wearing this today.

I am digging my taupe, suede boots.  They are a great neutral, and the suede adds a nice bit of texture.  I'd almost call them a must-have.

And for Meatless Monday, it's minestrone!  For what it's worth, I like to add a parmesan rind to the minestrone while it cooks and a spoonful of pesto before serving.  Flavor oomph.

gratitude:  stretchy black trash bags, Baby Ruth candy bars, soup, Whole Foods' Mediterranean Tapenade

thanks and love.

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