Rush, rush, stress, rush, rush, hurry, stress some more, rush stress rush stress rush rushrushrushrushrushrush.... CRASH! whew... it's over!!!!!!!!
I got really tired of my holidays feeling like this, and one day several years ago it occurred to me, "Would the Prince of Peace want me to celebrate His birthday this way?" The answer in my head was a resounding "NO." So I made a conscientious effort to weed out my unnecessary "have-to's" that had become burdens to me, like baking eight types of cookies, or cajoling my husband to put lights on the house, or sending gifts to siblings when we all agreed not to and they kept sending, or sending out Christmas cards no matter what stressful situations were in my life during a particular December. I let go of the Martha in me and became more like Mary, although I don't always sit very well and not nearly close enough to Jesus' feet.
So now I relax during the season, listen to Christmas music, play medieval carols on my wood recorder, craft a little, and put up decorations all through December as I find time and energy to enjoy it. I let my husband be free to do what he likes, which is not hanging lights on anything, and I don't get upset when everything isn't done or perfect. I sometimes don't have it all together, and I sometimes put up a tree on December 24, but I am peaceful. And that helps me take time to love those around me and have a ready smile or a listening ear to some who might need it.
With that in mind, Magali's tag advent calendar seemed the perfect idea. With a busy schedule, it was important to her to simplify and finish it so that she could enjoy it all through the season. It's lovely and could be made with stamps or a printer. And I love that she put a dish of chocolates nearby and will eat one each day as she pulls off the tags! :-)
Another way to quickly make the holiday special and to enjoy impromptu gatherings is to prepare a hot chocolate bar like Julie's. It's pretty enough to be on display all through December and would provide a ready treat for neighbors or friends. And what a great way to use keepsakes or vintage thrift shop finds!
And if you want to be crafty and also thrifty, but don't have much time, you can follow Trisha's lead and wrap dollar store candles with music paper and add some embellishments! Her post is full of pretty gift ideas.
Thank you for visiting. I hope that you are enjoying a holiday season of peace.