Tuesday, 9 October 2012

{Thriving this Winter} Day 9: Joy

On Sunday my family celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving, which was wonderfully tasty, fun and comfortable. Nothing seemed pretended, nothing seemed “put-on”. Yes, we had a big meal and Cogsworth did A LOT of cooking and work, but it didn’t seem like a show that we would all have to recover from afterwards. (Well, except maybe losing the 5 lb.s we gained). 

This family celebration led me to thinking about the next family celebration that we will be having. You know the one.... Christmas. I like to really start early for christmas preparations, so I usually use Thanksgiving as my cue. 

One of the things that really struck me this year was how the whole point of Thanksgiving is celebrated. It is always around this time that I am struck by the true bounty of what myself and my family enjoys, I am thankful for the things in my life that are good, and I can reflect on the true goodness of things that initially seem awful. There is a true undertone of gratefullness, and our family is good at remembering to remember this. 

I also love the ease of this holiday. Thanksgiving isn’t a whole month long and even if I did decorate it would more likely be with leaves from outside, pumpkins and gourds and simple candles. In fact this year for our pre-thanksgiving, I made a super simple centrepiece with a vase half full of mixed nuts and a tea light. It was all stuff we already had, simple, and perfectly reflected the mood of thanksgiving. Simply enjoying what we have. 

Ok, so in the past few years I have to admit, I have not really been celebrating the point of christmas. Much less celebrating the birth of jesus, or even just family, I have been celebrating simply... well... christmas? Basically nothing. Simply getting swept up in the idea of christmas and having no idea what I am actually trying to celebrate. Which means trying to do everything. 

I also thought a lot about weddings, because Mulan is newly engaged. 

Family celebrations and weddings actually have a lot in common, especially in the planning stages. One of the things that was advised to me, and I now pass on to all new  brides-to-be is to choose the 3 main things you care about and be willing to spend extra on those areas, while slashing costs like a maniac or simply forgoing other items and areas. 

So this year I am actually going to choose my 3 things and focus on executing them well. Now at least I have a goal to shoot for, and won’t have to be stressed about not doing all the things that aren’t even within my priorities

Just for your info my 3 things this year are going to be comfy, relaxed, and joyful. This is the atmosphere I am going for. 3 items I am going to focus on are food, easy-to-maintain decor, and spending time with people. That is all. Everything else is nice, is possibly fun, but if it isn't in my my priorities I'm not going to work too hard at it, or stress over it. And as you can see, that includes presents. More about that in another post. 

You might think that I didn’t nail the exact point of Christmas, and you are probably right. But I am moving in a direction. And that is good enough for me, for now. 

Do you pick certain elements to focus on at Christmas?


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