Time for sledding

I knew what I wanted this Christmas season to be like. Time at home, time outdoors, time together. Creating, learning, hiking, relaxing and loving. I have experienced many stressful Decembers, last year was one of those. We were involved in a community giving project, which although very meaningful for us was quite taxing on our family.

I knew I didn't want to do that again. On that note, if someone knows how to give meaningfully to their community while homeschooling, hiking on weekends and cooking 3 meals a day - I'd love to hear how to do it. I also knew I didn't want to spend the month shopping, feeling forever behind on tasks & preparations, overeating (well maybe just a wee bit) and otherwise stressing.

Now here I am, 7 days till Christmas, and I can honestly say this has been the best pre-Christmas season I've ever had, or at least that I can remember. Just ask Damien, I've expressed my feelings to him often in this way, "I'm just enjoying this month so much".

I seriously scaled back my expectations for this time leading up to Christmas. And although I thought I was preparing myself for the un-perfect month, in truth I was preparing myself for the perfect month (as many of you pointed out in your comments on that post). Letting go of things that are very good (a family Christmas letter & photo come to mind) but just couldn't be accomplished without stress felt so wonderful. I love writing an update letter and have done so each year but you know what? I can send a letter just as easily in January or February.

Dropping this one thing, and a few others, have freed up this month to do the things we value as a family. Like sledding on a frigid but beautiful afternoon at the farm.

Our time at the farm yesterday was wonderful. No rushing, except to the CSA room to warm our toes. No shopping, except bartering for dried gourds to make fairy homes. No stress, except coming home and realizing oh yeah, we do still need to make supper and clean up.

I feel like I've already had Christmas morning with a month of doing exactly what we wanted to do as a family. I feel so blessed. Tomorrow we leave for our holiday trip to Nova Scotia and Quebec. (I'm taking a little break from packing to share these thoughts.) And Christmas begins in earnest. I'm so excited. Spending days with my best girlfriend (my mom), eating my mom's cooking, sitting by my parent's fireplace, hanging out with my brother and his family, playing games, watching movies, staying up late and sleeping in.

I hope to chronicle our adventures on this space with photos and a few words. But if I don't get around to doing so as much as I'd like I'm not going to stress about it, because that would be simply un-Christmaslike.

Renee Tougas participates in affiliate marketing, including the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. Whenever you buy something on Amazon from a link you clicked here, I get a (very) small percentage of that sale. See disclosure for further explanation.

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  • nicola@which name?

    nicola@which name? on Dec. 19, 2009, 12:32 a.m.

    here here. (or is it hear hear?) you described it beautifully. i am glad you are getting the stress free holiday you needed. ditto here. and have a wonderful and joyous trip and christmas week, renee, to you and your beautiful family! nicola http://whichname.blogspot.com

    nicola@which name?'s last blog post... edible and giftable? yum! arugula pesto and toffee


  • Rana

    Rana on Dec. 19, 2009, 1:48 a.m.

    Ohhhh! Sledding, I'm still waiting for snow to come to southeastern Michigan so we can go sledding. You all look like you had a great time. Have a safe trip!

    Rana's last blog post... Making a list...


  • Spring

    Spring on Dec. 19, 2009, 3:19 a.m.

    Renee, I so needed to read this post tonight. I am not going to go to bed until I look at what I can take off my list for the next week, so that I can really enjoy it. One thing we DID do to take off some stress, was to budget for some allergy-free baking mixes so I can still create some safe treats for us to enjoy, without spending so much time researching recipes and measuring 8 different flours. Such a relief! I have also shrunk the gift list again. Also, our church canceled our Christmas Eve service (I voted for that) so we can be home with our families!

    Thanks for the reminder to slow down!


    • renee

      renee on Dec. 19, 2009, 12:46 p.m.

      I'm all for baking mixes to make it easier to indulge - it's Christmas! If I don't talk to you before then have a great Christmas Spring.


  • Denise

    Denise on Dec. 19, 2009, 3:31 a.m.

    enjoy. last year at this time we had snow. I really had fun going sledding so I know that it is tons of fun. hope your trip goes well. have a grand time with your mom!


  • Shawna

    Shawna on Dec. 21, 2009, 5:59 p.m.

    oh how jealous am i? boy i miss the north east during the first part of winter. that last shot just reminds me of everything i love so much about winter.

    even as an adult i miss sledding! we're going to have to make an effort to take bella after she gets some winter clothes for christmas. you have inspired me to get into the mountains!

    Shawna's last blog post... nineteen - might as well just call it 20.


    • renee

      renee on Dec. 21, 2009, 6:22 p.m.

      Hon, you just need to move back on home to the north east! Forget how lovely the northwest is for most of the year, the northeast is where it's at! (I'm just teasing you, I LOVE the west coast).


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