First of all, thank you for all your kind words of encouragement and wisdom on that last post. I've since calmed down about it all and have resolved to just be in the moment (big shocker, right?) and enjoy the Christmas holiday. The rest will sort itself out later. Letting go and giving things space for a while is always a good thing.
Onto the good things in my aforementioned back pocket...
I've been thinking a lot about holiday traditions -- ones I looked forward to when I was a kid, and ones that I want to start now that I have my own family. This is Veda's first Christmas, so now's the time!
One tradition Colin and I have already established is going out each year and picking a new ornament together. Since 2001 we've set aside an afternoon (preferably when it's romantically snowing and cold, but no such luck this year) to browse some shops and find one that feels perfect for that year. Then we grab a mug of hot chocolate and a piece of pie at a nearby bakery. This year for our ornament we picked out the tiny stocking in the first pic above at an antiques store, and we substituted caramel lattes and oatmeal raisin cookies for the hot chocolate and pie. I think Veda enjoyed the cookie part the most. (She loves oatmeal cookies.)
We also decorated the house and set up the tree. An obvious tradition. This year we went with a table-top tree. About 3 feet tall. I know Veda would've been all up in a big tree this year and rather than say "no ma'am" 17 billion times, we just avoided the problem all together. It's very sweet in it's smallness, sitting in a red and yellow pitcher with a few white lights and all the ornaments we've collected together and from ones my childhood. (Lots of hand-made ones from my mom. She's a crafty lady.) For the house, we went simple, with a few green garlands here and there, all my old glass ornaments from my grandma in a vase on the table out of harm's way, and substituting our white living room drapes for red velvet ones. Yum. Feels cozy.
Another big tradition that we're starting this year is one gift we plan on giving every Christmas -- a piece of art. This can be either a framed print, an original, or whatever. Just as long as it's visual art. I love this idea and hope that Veda will one day appreciate it... (she'll probably roll her eyes at the idea until she's much older). But this way, years from now when she moves out on her own, she'll have a small collection of art to take with her. This year we ordered this print (still waiting for it to arrive)... I hope it's as pretty in person.
Other traditions I like and plan to execute are:
- opening one gift on Christmas eve... a pair of warm winter pajamas.
- stockings (more on that later).
- And as Veda gets older, either an advent calendar or a 12 days of Christmas idea. (The 12 days of Christmas is half as much work...) My dear friend Gwen has some good ideas for her advent envelopes this year. And uncommon grace (a great blog) has a whole bunch more here.
- making cookies.
- some kind of crafty Christmas project (when Veda gets older and cares). My mom did this with us when we were little and I loved it. And while I'm not a crafty person, I think something simple is possible. :)
That's all I've got right now because my biggest goal is to just keep it simple. (One of my art profs used to remind us to "KISS"... "Keep it simple, stupid." Good advice.)
What are some of your favorite holiday traditions? (I may just have to steal them!) :)