Simplify the Christmas Holiday-and Enjoy it!

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elizabethmerchantThe home stretch...

I am planning the meals this afternoon and going out with friends this evening.

It is so nice not feeling that horrible pressure. I do keep forgetting that there are still a few details to attend to! 7 years ago


elizabethmerchantDecember 16-the Jingle Bell 5K

I remember one year when my son and his friend joined us for this 5K. The boys ran in their pajamas. Since then, I’ve been too busy to do the race. It’s so close to Christmas. Too much to do.

Yesterday, I did it! I ran the Jingle Bell 5K (after doing 18 mile last Sunday). The distance and the time were not a big deal. But it was a big deal that I had the time to go. It was a lot of fun. Ran into some old friends, even Mary and James from kayak class last summer and Nancy who paces me through the first mile. I am so happy to be able to enjoy myself and not have to spend the day checking boxes on a “to do” list.

Maybe I’ll even write a little tomorrow! 7 years ago


elizabethmerchantIt's working....

I do feel much less stressed. When I am free of pressure, everything flows easier. 7 years ago


elizabethmerchant"Just buy it."

A few years ago, we went to the beach to mourn the election results over Thanksgiving. My cute little son, who was about 14 then, came along shopping the sales. (It was the off season-so I could tolerate the stores). He was great. I’d stand there thinking about this or that and he’d say, “just buy it.”

Last week, I was at the beach to do the half marathon and fly, without the cute little baby. I did a lot of my shopping. I would far prefer to make my gifts and give the most perfect thing…but… I can’t. So, everytime I hesitated, I thought of my little baby standing there. “Just buy it.”

I wrapped up most of it today and I still have a little more of the “just buy it” left. 7 years ago


elizabethmerchantI'm onto the gifts now....

Buying gifts is a rough one. I don’t like to shop and don’t like to spend money. Some years, I’ve made a lot of gifts, but I don’t have time for that, not now. I’m sticking with the deadline. 7 years ago


elizabethmerchantMore cookies.

After a really nice run and a little mountain bike trip, I made some more Christmas cookies. This is a lot more enjoyable without the pressure of December.

Got the dates negotiated with a few family members and should cut down on the running around a little.

I am so looking forward to a relaxing and peaceful and normal holiday season. 7 years ago


elizabethmerchantCookies.

I started baking cookies today. I can’t believe it. It’s not even October 15th and I don’t know how I’ll ever keep my crew out of them. But this is my experiment—to see if I can run through December. Two more weeks and the baking is over. 7 years ago


elizabethmerchantBaking

Bought the flour and sugar…maybe on Friday and Saturday I’ll get started to be finished by the end of the month. 7 years ago


elizabethmerchantChristmas Cards.

Check. I usually send notes, but since I promised that I’d stop on 9/30. That’s what day it is, so I’ll grant myself enough of an extension to add a photo to most of them and keep on schedule. I did not put return addresses on them, still hoping to move office and home before Christmas! 7 years ago


elizabethmerchantThe cards...

are almost finished. I have about 50 more for the office and I want to wait to put the return address on until December, in case I luck out and find a new office or new house. I refuse to give up on those two. 7 years ago


elizabethmerchantA great start.

I send a bunch of cards through the office, and a few from home. I’ve signed most of the office ones, and I think I’ve bought all that I’m going to need-two more weekends to finish the first part of this one. 7 years ago


elizabethmerchantThe plan...

I’m going to have deadlines, and if it’s not finished by the deadline, it won’t happen…We’ll see how that goes.
9/30-cards ready to go
10/31-baking and whatever cooking I can-frozen. Schedule w/family negotiated.
11/22-presents finished
12/1-decorations out (except tree…it’ll never make it.

Now, I have to be disciplined enough to stop when the deadline arrives and do nothing further. What a plan. 7 years ago


elizabethmerchantOff and running.

Every year, around the middle of November, I begin to dread the upcoming holiday. It is so complicated and such an effort to keep 4 generations of family happy. This year, I’m going to have a blast. I’m going to figure out what it takes, well in advance and be ready to just kick back and have fun from 12:01 a.m. on December 24 through midnight December 25. I’ll work out, write, party, and otherwise enjoy myself for the days and nights before and after the precise holiday. I’ll be ready for the year-end office stuff early enough so that I don’t have to work 15 hour days between Christmas and New Year…. 7 years ago


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