Is it just me or does time seem to speed up as we hurtle towards the end of the year ? The last six weeks or so seem to have gone by so quickly and Christmas is almost upon us.
I’ll be honest – I used to love Christmas but in recent years less so, as unexpected and not so pleasant events have occurred to dampen my usual festive spirit – the loss of a pet, a spell in hospital, a major water leak at home. This year, I’ve tried to take a more considered approach to how I spend Christmas, to seek more of a balance between enjoying myself while not getting overly stressed about all the inevitable preparation that Christmas brings (and which can so often turn into a long list of chores !).
And so I’ve tried to simplify in a few ways:-
- Instead of buying a large cut tree, I opted instead for two small potted trees – one for the indoors, one for the porch. These took much less time to decorate, take up less space (no need to rearrange the furniture) and hopefully have the added benefit, if I look after them properly, of being around for many more years to come.
- I’ve decorated the mantelpiece with pine cones, a little arrangement of dried hydrangeas, seed heads and eucalyptus and used old jam jars as tea light holders. It cost me virtually nothing, it’s very simple but has a nice botanical feel which I really like.
- I agreed with my family that we should all spend less on one another. Everyone already has everything they need. And I have found that spending less has made me make more effort to find a thoughtful and well chosen gift. My husband and I agreed just to buy each other a small gift and put the money we would have spent into a short break some time in February when a weekend away will do us both the world of good. So, overall, shopping for gifts has been less time consuming, less stressful and easier on the wallet too.
- For the Christmas party with colleagues, I bought nothing new to wear (truth be told, the shoes I wore were at least 10 years old). And yet, I still had a lovely time !
- Where possible, I’ve tried to shop locally and make use of the lovely gift shops and florists close to home. Yes, I’ve used Amazon for one particular purchase but all other purchases of candles, soaps, chocolates and cards have been local, handmade and rather lovely. Not only does it support the local economy, I also don’t need to worry about collecting missed deliveries from the post office !
And in between working and preparing for Christmas, I’ve also tried to find some time to just enjoy December as a winter month, spend some time outdoors and to reflect on the year I’ve had as it draws to a close. I’ve been taking part in Susannah Conway’s December Reflections on Instagram which I’m really enjoying. It’s a lovely way to inject a little bit of mindfulness into what can be a crazy month, to share favourite photographs from the year using the prompts and to connect with new people in the process.
So that’s, in a nutshell, how I’ve been approaching Christmas this year, and so far, I’m liking this quieter, simpler style.
What about you? How has your run up to Christmas been ?
Whatever way you spend Christmas, I wish you a Merry one ! And thank you for taking the time to read my blog this year – I really do appreciate your comments and feedback.
I’ll leave you with a few photos from December round these parts. See you in the New Year x