Around my house there is gingerbread to be baked, beeswax candles and big batches of granola to be made, and gifts to be wrapped - but just for a moment, I want to step away from all of that. In the rush to "get through" the holidays, it's so easy to stop noticing the beauty and magic, don't you agree? Everyone in my house is either coming down with a cold, or getting over one, and so my thoughts are turning to ways to slow down and take care of ourselves right in the middle of this very busy season. We don't have to do it all, or even do much! I've been repeating "simple is best" like a mantra lately, and it seems to be working :-)
I want to have a party (I love parties!) but with "simple is best" firmly in mind, I am asking friends (who are more than happy to help) to bring a few dishes to round out a simple meal, and instead of rushing to bake cookies in advance, I plan to turn it into a party activity and enlist the little ones to help: win, win!
In the evenings (or even on dark mornings) I find candlelight to be extremely soothing, even healing, especially in midwinter. Turning the lights down low, and lighting candles (and twinkle lights) all around the house is a wonderful way to slow down and simply enjoy the moment ... and during a holiday gathering, glowing light can do wonders for a less-than-pristine house! Getting outdoors in the fresh air is also so important - even when I have a cold, I like to get outside for a bit each day, because I find the crisp air refreshing. And perhaps most importantly, I keep trying to remind myself that the season does not end at Christmas - we have abundant time to bake, craft, and gather with friends. There's no need to push to fit one more thing into an already-full schedule.
Let it go.
Keep it simple.