As part of this year’s effort to embrace the holiday season for the whole month of December, I’m doing a couple of projects. First, you may remember me mentioning Picture the Holidays last week (signups are still open until December 10th, if you think you might want to treat yourself).
I’ll be following seasonal photo prompts every day. It’ll be fun!
The images above are from the first few days of class: Turning over a new leaf, Reframing the season, and Get grounded. (The prompts come with a lot more explanation than that, of course, and Tracey supplies one of her own images for inspiration.)
There’s also A Very Merry Advent, which is a great little eBook I bought recently. It includes a printable calendar, and is jam-packed with holiday activities to do. The idea is to pick your favorite 24 activities and schedule them for the days leading up to Christmas. Some of them are fairly involved (like “make something new out of an old sweater”) but others are super simple (“have a hot chocolate night”) and easily do-able on a busy day.
On Sunday Flufy and I went to the local tree lighting (hot pretzels, coffee, elves on scooters, Santa, fireworks!), and yesterday I made a red and green paper chain (two of them, actually – one to count down the days until Christmas, and another to decorate the family room). I’m not sure yet what today will bring. Maybe orange pomanders. Maybe decorating the living room. Maybe something else entirely. Who knows? That’s part of the fun.
This December is different than any other December in over a decade for one BIG reason: My book store, Polka Dot Creations is completely and utterly closed. (Last Christmas it was mostly closed, but I still had one big shipment of preorders I had to tackle.)
And while I do still have a business selling my handmades, the small volume of orders I will get between now and Christmas is totally manageable.
That mad rush of processing orders and shipping books, dvds, and magazines that always came with owning a book shop is something that I will not miss. I always resented the intrusion into what I thought should be a magical family time every December. Some years, I also had custom family portrait ornaments or custom crochet hooks to get out the door on top of the book store orders. It was always very stressful, and I couldn’t even begin to think about Christmas until I closed up the shops, usually December 15th or later.
I would cram a month’s-worth of merry-making into about a week, culminating in my annual December 23rd Meltdown of Epic Proportions.
Well, not this year! I have no book store sapping my energy, and no custom orders to finish up. I’m eager to see what it’s like to spread this holiday stuff out over several weeks, pacing myself as nature intended, taking photos and doing a few fun activities all along the way.
And I expect there may even be time to (gasp) clean the house! But don’t tell Neil I said that. I wouldn’t want to get his hopes up.