Posts Tagged With: 12 days of Christmas

Random 5 – Good-bye 2016

I don’t know about you but I’m OK with saying good-bye to this year.  It’s not been all bad, but it’s been far too rushed-stressed-scheduled-manic-busy for me.   I don’t foresee that the work pace will slow but do I feel a shift in how I’m managing it:  I’m speaking up more and saying “no thanks” where I can. I no longer feel responsible for everyone and everything.  (No one asked me to do that, by the way, but that’s just how I rolled).  The surprising part? No push back.  Huh – should have done this long ago!

Having (most of) this week off has allowed time for reflection.  To think about what I’ve done, what I’ve learned, what I want and where I’m going  – here are my Random 5 thoughts on the cusp of a new year:

1 Traditions can change and you can, too.  Everything about this Christmas was different – everything.  What day we all got together.  What we ate, how we managed gifts, who was here and how we spent our time. I loved it!  Fewer decorations went up and came down sooner.  We stayed in more. We rested – we cocooned.  It was wonderful, magical, soul-restoring.

between-christmas-and-new-years

2 Family – this was our first Christmas without Mom and we all felt the pinch.  My sister called late one night, her voice cracking, and as we connected our tears fell. She was just “having a moment” she said.  “I get it,” I said.  We told our stories and cried and laughed and gave thanks for a Mother so joyfully recalled.

motherhood

3 Gifts – the best gifts are those that cost little but take time and effort and come straight from the heart: this year I made our boys a family recipe book.  It’s not perfect and it wasn’t professional but the joy I felt as they sincerely reveled in it was my gift.  I teased that I chose a red binder for a reason – likening it to the President getting the Nuclear codes – and that they’d best guard it closely.  They assured me they would.  😀

food ina garten

4 Epiphanies abound, case in point:  When we go out socially, I yearn for interesting and fun conversations.  When those don’t happen I withdraw or get frustrated.  Crap – I’m a conversation snob!!  Hubbs and I can have hours-long meandering conversations and I shouldn’t assume they’re available everywhere.

get-your-happy-on-quote-1

Great conversations make me happy!

5 Here comes the New Year.  We’re heading out tonight for Japanese Hibachi dinner with a host of friends.  I’ll find something sparkly to wear and hope for good conversations.  I’ll take a breath and look around and give thanks for the chance to do it all over again next year.  ~ Happy New Year all!

photo from flickr

photo from flickr

“We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Years Day.” ~ Edith Lovejoy Pierce

 

Categories: Attitude, Confidence at any age, Faith, Family, fear, Fun, Growth, Holidays, Joy, Life, Mom, News, Personal, Relationships | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

12 Days of Delight

A few years ago my cousin and I were both struggling to come up with memorable Christmas gifts for our mothers.  Both of our  Moms are practical and modest; both have their “needs” met.  Daughters of the Depression, neither would ever ask for … more.

Racking our brains, we created a new tradition:  Let’s do the 12 Days of Christmas!  (Renamed the 12 Days of Delight!)

And with that, our plan was hatched. We’d scour the earth to find 12 unique gifts, wrap them individually and number them from 1 to 12.  We’d ship a package to each of them with STRICT instructions to begin opening their gifts – one per day – 12 days ahead of Christmas (December 14th) with the last present being saved for Christmas morning.

image from Pinterest.com

It didn’t take us long to toss the idea of coordinating our 12 gifts with partridges, Lords-a-Leaping and geese. Instead we shopped for our girls considering their own individual tastes and interests.  Her Mom (my Aunt Irene) loves girly-girl stuff, singer Johnny Reid and black licorice.  My Mom enjoys books, gourmet nuts and favors songbirds and politics.   A sampling of our inexpensive array of gifts included:  slippers, tea towels, bath products, a new wallet with $$ tucked inside, books, hot chocolate, candy, word search games, pajamas and other clothing.

Both ladies enjoyed the game very much but when my Mom softly commented, “it’s just so much” I listened and, next year, trimmed hers down to the “6 days of Christmas” (she opens 1 present every other day until Christmas and seems much more comfortable with this version).  My Auntie? Don’t you touch her 12! She lines up her gifts and displays them proudly to all visitors who stop by.  We’ve adjusted as we’ve gone along and it’s worked out just fine.

Sometimes, in spite of our best intentions, distance separates us from loved ones and it’s just harder to accept at the holidays.  Sometimes the person you want to “do” for already has what they need. This is just a fun little exercise that lets your intended know they’re thought of every day.  That you’re right with them, smiling and delighting, loving them and enjoying a special tradition .. together.

P.S.  –the 12 days of Delight is easily adapted for children and other adults.  Have a niece who won’t be home this Christmas?  Know someone with a spouse in the Military?   Someone who might need a little extra TLC this holiday season? I promise you, the 12 days of Delight delivers.

 * * *

Have you started any new holiday traditions?   

Categories: Attitude, Family, Fun, Holidays, Home, Mom, Relationships, Traditions, Uncategorized | Tags: , | 19 Comments

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Better Days Blog

Learning from yesterday, living for today

Another Stir of the Spoon

Food, Art, Books, Birds and whatever...

A Little Wild Farm

Planting roots on our little wild farm.

Connie Rosser Riddle

Connecting with People in My Path

Atypical 60

A Typical Blog. A Typical Woman. A Typical Take On Life. With An Atypical Twist!

A New Day Dawns

Arise, shine; For your light has come!

Virginia Views

Country Living for Beginners

Views and Mews by Coffee Kat

Kate's views on life edited by four opinionated cats

Renee Johnson Writes

Novelist, Traveler, and More

Life Is A Journey... Not A Guided Tour

My Journey From Merchant Mariner to Mother, And Spiritual Being.

notquiteold

Nancy Roman

She's A Maineiac

just another plaid-wearin' java-sippin' girl

I also live on a farm

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Wordsmith's Desk

some thoughts along the way

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...

music, poetry, musings, photography and philosophy from a woman who found her way back home and wants you to come over for a hike and a cocktail.

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Stop in and see what's happening during these days of mine

When I Ride...

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