How are you coping? Are you enjoying the holiday preparations or feeling overwhelmed by them? It can be a difficult time of year if you’ve lost family members, are struggling financially or feel alone. Maybe you feel like you don’t have enough time to accomplish everything that needs to happen before Christmas. Perhaps your health is suffering and energy levels are low. Are you feeling pressured to have the perfect family gathering or are you taking a relaxed approach? Whatever your situation, I hope you take comfort in simple pleasures during the rest of December and remember to breathe deeply throughout the chaos.
Recently I haven’t had the energy to blog because I caught a Christmas cold after my last post. It completely wiped me out which means:
- I spent an entire day sleeping on the couch. Since then I’ve not been firing on all cylinders.
- My house isn’t as clean as I would like. It’s freaking me out.
- I’m several posts behind on the #Manifest20 writing challenge. I’ve been offline recovering.
- All of my presents still need to be wrapped. Even though I’ve limited gifts to 4 per person, that’s still quite a lot with a big family! Plus there’s the extended family.
- I didn’t mail many Christmas cards. I’m still trying to get local cards in the post!
- I’ve done most of the food shopping, but I have one more trip to the grocery store left.
- I haven’t finished knitting my daughter’s hat. I ripped it out last night and started over as it’s slightly different than her brothers’. I ordered faux fur pom poms from Etsy which still haven’t arrived. Fingers crossed they come today. There’s still a chance I’ll finish on time.
While I’m not as organized as I would like to be, I’m trying (unsuccessfully) not to feel stressed about it. We’re attending a Christmas gathering at a friend’s this evening for a few hours. Tomorrow afternoon our family will meet other friends for our traditional Christmas Eve drink at our local pub. I love hot ports and Irish coffees this time of year! It’s always festive in town as the shops close early on Christmas Eve.
In Ireland the holidays last longer than in the states. Deliveries will stop for a while so everyone will hoard food in their cupboards. The shelves will be almost empty in the supermarkets! Today there will be a manic energy as everyone picks up their last bits and pieces for Christmas dinner. I live in a small community where most people know each other. That adds a social element to shopping because a few words will be exchanged with nearly every. single. person.
Despite feeling slightly overwhelmed, I am also enjoying the annual rituals. Last night I watched Elf with Miss E and Blessing. The fire was blazing while we munched on popcorn and Minstrels. There’s something comforting about watching Christmas movies together, regardless of how many times you’ve seen them or how silly they are. My daughter made fun of me for laughing so hard at Buddy’s ridiculous antics. In the end she started laughing too because laughter is, after all, contagious.
Earlier on Sunday we made a visit to see our local Santa and Mrs. Klaus. It was Blessing’s first time seeing the big man he’s been hearing so much about. He didn’t cry, but he was a little apprehensive about sitting on a stranger’s lap, even if there was the promise of presents to come! Parents drank mulled wine and ate minced pies as the children had their faces painted or made Christmas decorations. We brought home a bauble Blessing made all by himself. There was also a treasure hunt around the town. Had I stayed home my house would be much cleaner, but I’m glad we made special memories instead.
It’s time to get moving again. The countdown is on! Wishing you all the best as you prepare to gather with family and friends over the next few days. I’m hoping to accomplish all of the tasks on today’s to-do list. If I don’t tick everything off, I’m going to try to let it go… Happy Holidays!
Featured photo by Vidar Nordli-Mathisen.