Our topic at the SFF Seven this week is our #1 Thing to do to keep our sanity this holiday season.
Personally I LOVE this time of the year and actually don’t get stressed over anything which happens around these holidays.
I’m pretty organized when it comes to doing cards, buying gifts and wrapping things. I listen to my favorite Christmas carols constantly – I enjoy the country-flavored versions on the ‘Smokey Mountain Christmas’ album, I love “Joy to the World” and many of the other songs on the ‘Christmas with the Gatlin Brothers’ album, I have several Celtic and exclusively bagpipe Christmas albums of carols, the Straight No Chaser ‘Christmas Can-Can’ song is hilarious, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir does full throated justice to traditional carols…well, you get the picture. I have maybe six versions of “We Three Kings” which is one of my alltime favorite carols, by different singers, on my iPod.
I also have a collection of plates that I use from Thanksgiving through New Year’s. A lot of them are from Pier One and feature dogs or cats in holiday hats but also some traditional winter themes. I thoroughly enjoy bringing those out and taking a break from my year round ‘Butterfly Meadow’ dishes with flowers, birds and butterflies. I have five or six Christmas tea cups that I use during this same time period.
So I kind of immerse myself in the holiday and enjoy the heck out of it, watch the Rose Parade on New Year’s Day and pivot back to normal life thereafter.
It probably started when I was a kid and the entire Christmas season seemed so magical. I really love Autumn and Winter, as my two favorite seasons and I feel so much more alive in the colder weather.
Frankly, I loathe summer and hot weather. Just not my thing. Come talk to me about stress in July! I’m all about the cozy indoors of winter with a blizzard raging outside, metaphorically speaking.
I used to take my annual vacation at Christmas time because at the old day job there would be quite a few official days off and so I could take two weeks without actually using up all my vacation days. I’m sure that helped with stress levels too.
My daughters have told me they were stressed because I did all the wrapping of gifts for the family on Christmas Eve and basically disappeared for the entire day. If I’d know that then, I would have handled it differently!
There were some years when I remember stressing over whether I could get them THE toy they most desired in the entire universe. I think I managed for the most part, although there were a few years we made a quick trip to Toys R Us after the holiday to sift through the wreckage in the aisles and see if we could find whatever it was or something to be a ‘consolation’ gift.
I should probably add that our holidays are pretty low key. We don’t do giant family dinners, I’m not a party person, I do everything I need to do for myself to minimize stress, which as an introvert primarily means avoiding those occasions where a ton of people gather. I did the office parties and the company parties back in the day when I was required to by my job or my late husband’s job. Being a fulltime author requires no group gathering with egg nog and white elephants, thankfully.
Give me a good Regency Christmas romance to read, Jake the cat to purr, my cozy blankets, a cup of tea in that holiday cup and I’m happy!
Wishing you a happy holiday season…
(By the way, I’ve been sharing photos of my extensive fashion jewelry Christmas earrings and pins collection on my author Facebook page and my Instagram, if you enjoy such things…)
All photos are Author's own.