My thoughts are already in New Year which is my favorite time of the year. The first of January is a magical moment. If I feel I can’t accomplish much or that long, dark days are lowering my energy level, the very beginning of the year is a suitable time to change it all. I feel excited just thinking of it and will soon post a separate blog post planning my new year. It’s also time to use a moment to be thankful. I have many reasons to feel grateful for the year we are ending. My family stayed healthy, the boys are doing well and we have a new puppy – Kielo – in our family. I was lucky to travel, to see new places and meet friends abroad as well.
Kielo is teaching me a lot about minimalism by chewing everything we own. Furniture, rugs, curtains. The beautiful sofa we bought for our library, even my books. A few days ago I caught her chewing a gorgeous photography book (American Music by Annie Leibowitz) I had managed to find after a long search. She had destroyed a half of it. I asked what on earth she was doing and she stopped the chewing and sat in front of me trying to look sharp. I couldn’t be angry at her and laughed thinking I often do the same when I’m confused, just focus on looking sharp. Material things are not that important. She’s a young puppy, she will grow and learn.
Before planning January I have a simple list for Christmas. It’s short because I’ve been editing it a few years now. I like to do Christmas in an easy way. I’m sure a big traditional feast can be a wonderful creative process for those who love the season and seasonal traditions in general but I prefer a simple approach.
I don’t want to fill my home with a lot of decorations, I like to have it fresh and clean for easy, relaxed holidays. I’m not efficient at household chores. I clean and suddenly get an idea for my blog and want to write it down immediately or start reading a book in the middle of my organizing. My solution is to clean a little bit every day, to do my best and ask help if needed in the end. Everything will be just fine. I’m sure there are bigger problems in the world than my lack of enthusiasm for cleaning.
I’ve offered to cook for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day but instead of heavy Christmas food I’m cooking meals I usually prepare for weekends. Something festive and something I need to plan but only a day or two in advance. I did the same last year and it all went well. The only seasonal food tradition I wouldn’t miss is our annual Christmas cookie weekend. Last weekend my friend spent the weekend with us and we baked and decorated hundreds of Christmas cookies and my whole family loved it.
My father in law will bring us a tree and the boys will decorate it early morning on Christmas Eve. We have a big box of ornaments in the basement and the boys use what they can find and the tree will look amazing. So much more beautiful than I could ever make it and I love watching them doing it, my favorite part of the day. The tree can stay there three days and after that it’s out (that’s the local habit).
The last point on my list is to avoid over-consuming and unnecessary buying. It’s okay not to buy too many Christmas gifts or not to buy them at all and focus on good food and company instead. In my family we exchange a few books and in addition I will give the boys something useful they have on their wish list (something I think they need) and send a couple of Christmas greetings (this year my parents are not spending the holidays with us so I’m mailing my greetings instead).
The lazy days between Christmas and New Year are our family time. I’m planning to relax in my pajamas reading books and watching Christmas films and to spend some time outdoors with Kielo. Before Christmas I often spend a few days traveling and luckily this year I’m going to Paris for a long weekend. I’m traveling there to see some events and staying near Montmartre and can’t wait to walk around the area in the mornings, sit down for a nice breakfast and see how the city looks just before holidays. Very much looking forward to it xxx