{ simple holidays...revisited + revised }

What I want for this month is simplicity not stress. Letting go of my expectations seems to be the way to make that happen. Gasp, this means I'm not decorating the trees outside with white lights, not doing the kids advent calendar like I usually do (although I have fun family activities written in for most days this month, they just happen to occur at home instead of out and about), not buying anymore gifts but baking some bread instead for friends & family, not stepping foot into a Walmart or other box store the rest of this month, not buying stupid stocking stuffers but filling the kids stockings with fresh fruit & art supplies, volunteering & giving to those who need it the most this holiday, having Sam choose only 2 playdates for winter break, saying NO (gracefully) to pretty much every holiday party we get invited to (this is a hard one for a social person like me) but after having almost 8 straight weeks of company & travel I just want to be home with my sweet little family....

I've got a smaller to do list now than when I started....I hacked about 25 things off of it (things like make homemade organic salt scrubs for family & friends, bake 12 different kinds of cookies, make Gram's Swedish coffee cake and mail to family, etc.! Here is what I'm left with and it seems manageable now...

- Put up tree - done
- Decorate mantle - done

- Freeze huge batch of veggie chili for nights I don't feel like cooking - done * recipe in comments section of this post
- Order Newspaper GC for Jason (done)
- Pick up Spa Shop GC for Mom (done)
- Food Bank donation & Project Merry Christmas with Samme (done)
- Return book (done)
- Send holiday e-card (done)
- Burn CD for M - done
- Make crayons for Jayden with Sam (done)
- Finish wrapping gifts (Next week)
- Bake vegan pumpkin bread (done)
- Bake cookies with Sam & Mom (next weekend)
- Plan Christmas Day Brunch (keep it simple - blueberry coffee cake (make ahead), coffee, mimosas, veggie quiche (make ahead), homemade granola (make ahead) and fresh fruit).
- Finish mailing gifts to remote family (we send grandparents a shutterfly book of photos from the previous year & a framed family pic). (done)
- Get healthy & crafty stocking stuffer items together (check to see what I have on hand first) (done)
- Get gifts together for teachers & neighbors (LobotoME notepads & homemade bread) (done, deliver next week)
- Have items on hand for impromptu drinks with friends (cranberry margaritas, crackers & goat cheese & olives; chips & salsa & guacamole). And did I mention CRANBERRY margaritas? :) (done)
- Go to YOGA.

What are you doing to keep it simple this year or are you running around like a chicken with your head cut off?

quote image via Ink+Wit


Anonymous said...

such wise advice. I'm not into the Christmas stress. I am just doing what feels right for me this year. My list is similar to yours.

karen said...

mmmmmm yoga. that is definitely a must for me to make sure that i take a little extra time to breathe. my other "thing" to keep things calm is to make sure that everything is about my family. a little extras for teachers & others here and there, but making sure my boys know what comes first during this wonderful time of year. (I love seeing your lists!)

karen said...

I'm so sorry for the double, but do you have a link for your veggie chili? I would love to try it?

LobotoME said...

i kind of make up my own veggie chili recipe depending upon what kind of beans I have in the pantry and what kind of veggies in the fridge. But in general it looks like this:

Veggie Chili Recipe

1 tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, peeled and chopped
1-2 red pepper, deseeded and chopped
1-2 garlic cloves, crushed
1-2 cups of frozen organic corn
2, 14 oz. cans of tomato sauce
2, 14 oz. can diced tomatoes
2 c. dried red kidney beans, soaked, cooked and drained or 3 (15 oz.) cans red kidney beans
2 c. dried pinto beans, soaked, cooked & drained or 3 (15 oz.) cans of pinto beans
1 c. dried whole red or green lentils, simmered in plenty of water for 40-45 minutes until tender
1 tsp. mild paprika
2-4 tbsp. chili powder


TheCluelessCrafter said...

When I saw your brand name on Decor8, I had to see this crazy place. Anything that helps the insane (I like to think of myself as blissfully insane) is a thing dear to my heart.

What keeps my holidays simple is finding a laugh in anything I can. I've been writing some crazy posts to boil some stress and am finding it helpful. You have a humor holiday organizing list or something of the sort?