Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Holidays Done Right
Happy Solstice everyone! Not sure we're going to get any sunlight today on this shortest day of the year, but it does look like a very blue sky is trying to peep out from behind some dramatic grey, purple, and pink clouds. Today we have just over 8 hours of daylight; about 9.5 hours of visible light. Although we will start gaining daylight by just seconds starting tomorrow, it's always nice to make it over the hump.
After I get a few more hours of work in today, I'll be hitting the hot and dusty (or should I say, the curvy and icy) and heading into town for the night. Tomorrow, I'll accompany my parents to Chicagoland, where we'll be spending a week with my paternal grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. We'll be meeting up with my brother and his girlfriend while we're down there as well. On the return trip, I'll be dropped off for another crafting extravaganza. I won't be back to the cabin until the new year!
Andy is understandable somewhat miffed by all of this, but someone's got to stay home to watch the cabin and make some money. ;) And before you feel too bad for Andy, keep in mind that his mom'll be up to spend the holiday with him and he has family gatherings to attend. He will be fine. I think.. . . There is plenty of food in the freezer, so hopefully he won't spend too many nights eating his bachelor standby: cold refried beans smeared on an unheated tortilla.
There have been lots of posts on the blogsphere lately about trying to find Christmas tree, so I thought I'd focus this post on some of the positive aspects of the holidays. Here are a few things I'm glad I've done so far this holiday season:
Bought local gifts. I always have good intentions of buying my presents locally. Then when push comes to shove, I inevitably end up buying all my presents from Amazon. (It's so easy!) But this past Friday, I spent some time downtown and finished up my Christmas shopping in town. Not all my presents were bought locally, mind you, but it did feel good to know that some of my Christmas dollars were going to cycle right back through my community.
Made holiday cookies in limited quantities. Everyone loves a treat. But ubiquitous Christmas cookies just tend to make people ill, and eventually, after all that sugar's worn off, downright grumpy. This year's Christmas cookie baking has been limited to the cookie baking extravaganza with my mom's family (and the majority of those cookies were donated to a community cookie sale) and one batch of Danish puff. My waistline thanks me.
Stayed focused. This holiday season, I kept my head down and kept working. I banked hours, I got things done ahead of time. It really wasn't fun. But it means that I can leave for the next week and a half and not worry about not working. I've earned my holiday this year and won't experience a dip in income over the holidays. *whew!*
Family time. I have not spent a Christmas with my father's family since 2005. My grandparents are in their 80s. That means Christmases to come are probably finite. Since I am able to, it feels like the right thing to spend the holidays with them.
Come what may. Earlier in the month, I just wasn't feeling the Christmas cheer.But rather than let the calendar dictate my feelings, I waited to go through the Christmas decorations until I was actually interested in rooting through the box and decorating the cabin. We got the tree later than usual, but we were both ready to have a tree by the time it did go up. The holidays have unfolded naturally which made it all a little less stressful. Now I'm ready (I think!) to be full of cheer and goodwill to men.
What things are you glad you did this holiday season?