How to Have a Relaxing Christmas

This Christmas I tried something new and pared down my to-do list!

My sister inspired me on Thanksgiving when she told me that she never sends out Christmas cards.  You would think I would have noticed whether my own beloved sister sent me a card, but probably because of the craziness of the holidays, I never noticed.  This got me thinking that people probably wouldn’t notice if I didn’t send them Christmas cards either. 

There are so many fun traditions surrounding the holidays that it’s hard to pick just a few.  This is where I went wrong in past years.  I tried to do them all and ended up stressed out and overwhelmed!  So I guess I’ve learned the best thing to do is just pick the ones you like the best and enjoy yourself.  Everyone else is so busy that they won’t notice the things you let slide.  🙂 

Here’s what I did and didn’t do this year.  I only did things that made me feel relaxed, happy & peaceful.  Isn’t that what the holidays are for anyway?

I DIDN’T:

1.  Send out a mass mailing of Christmas cards.

2.  Bake huge amounts of treats to give away.

3.  Wander through store aisles listening to “Last Christmas I gave you my heart and the very next day you gave it away…” (worst holiday song ever, in my opinion!)

4.  Make a dish for every single holiday event.  I went to a Carol & Cookie Bake, but I didn’t bring a cookie dough to bake.  (Cutting calories too!)     

I DID:

1.  Decorate a tree and put up a beautiful wreath that I got from the Litchfield Farmer’s Market for $10!

2.  Made egg nog & mulled apple cider for just me & my husband.

3.  Went to see the Nutcracker which I have seen every few years since I can remember.  I always see something new about life in it.  This is a peaceful and quiet thing to do–no words, just music and beautiful dancing. 

We have both a DVD and a CD of the Nutcracker here at OWL: 

The Nutcracker, a ballet in two acts.  DVD CUL NUT

Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker.  CD CLASSICAL TCH

4.  Crocheted a sweater for my husband (shh!). 

5.  Bought 3 gifts:  A present for my niece, my nephew and my family’s secret santa.  My niece and nephew are 2 years old and I couldn’t have stopped myself if I tried!  😉

6.  Went to a reading of the Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson (J ROB).  This is a tradition in my family and my step-sister turned it into an event.  I got to listen to a nice story while I finished crocheting my husband’s sweater. 

7.  I enjoyed the snow, the icicles, the little birds huddled on a bush outside my window & the silence…

8.  And, of course, I will spend Christmas with my family eating a hearty meal and singing Christmas carols! 

Come to OWL (we’ll be open Sat the 26th and Sun the 27th!) and check out some peaceful winter/holiday items like these:

Seasons by Hal Borland 500.9 BOR:  The last section, Winter, is a reminder of how this season is good for the earth.  There are  some interesting photos of our beautiful Northwest CT.   

Tomie dePaola’s Book of Christmas Carols J783.6 D.  This has a nice assortment of simple Christmas Carols and fun pictures. 

Wildflowers & Winter Weeds and Weeds in Winter Both 582.12 BRO.  I like to bring some of the outdoor decorations inside. These are two interesting books on how to identify plants in their winter state.  We are lucky to be in New England where plants have 4 stages of beauty.

Animals in Winter J591.5.  A picture book of all our winter neighbors and what they are doing now.  Just a taste of what you might see if you take a winter walk! 

Please read Thoreau’s A Winter Walk in the book Excursions, 818 THO, a beautiful description of the silence and beauty of winter.

Jesse Lee Harmon is the bookkeeper/library assistant and promises she is really not a Grinch! 

Merry Christmas!!

6 thoughts on “How to Have a Relaxing Christmas

  1. I thought I was the only one “paring” down this season and I was feeling lazy. I feel better reading your blog– thanks for the peaceful thoughts and writing!

  2. I jumped off the Frantic Christmas Express several years ago, once I finally accepted the fact that my family really is composed of lunatics. Everyone knows the kind: the 3AM Black Friday shoppers, the run-down-the-lady-with-the-shopping-cart to get the latest Barbie people, the “didn’t we argue about this last year” crowd, etc. etc. Now I have a quiet Christmas holiday, just me and The Princess (TM). Sweet!

  3. Hello there, and pardon the intrusion. I decided to enjoy the birth of the Lord in a peaceful way, too. I am not going around like crazy looking for gifts, just a choice few for immediate family, have a few decorations around the living room, no tree… Just want to enjoy my family and the short time we’ll be together. Your post was very interesting. Thanks. And now, I’ll go and crochet something for my MIL… 🙂

  4. I think this is wonderful.
    I’ve been trying to do this for
    a couple of years myself.
    I think I have to determine to
    save up a little money all year
    for Christmas, so that what I like
    to do, I can do over a period of
    weeks, rather than days.
    But, the general idea is right on,
    you wrote it well, and I feel
    validated, rather than guilty!

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