I haven't written in a while. It was a great holiday season. And I do mean holiday. Each day of December is a holiday for me, regardless of what each one means to you. I like them all. However the word holiday comes from Holy Day, and I would never say that each day was a holy day for me. Why do people object to Happy Holidays? I am tired of such rhetoric. It takes away from my joy. Holy is in the eye of the celebrator perhaps. Or in the toe of the sock?
One thing that made my H-days work (and we all know how easy it is to get them offtrack) was a lack of expectations. I decided that expectations are what ruin things for me when they don't get met in the exact way I anticipated. I tried to have as few as possible. I loved the present I made for DH (Nap Land - couch slipcover, pillows and quilt).
I loved the cedar lawn chairs he made for me. The best feature is that he adjusts everything for me. They are custom sized and my legs never get pins and needles! We each bought a few other little gifts along the line of what we usually do and that was nice, but I think next year they will go by the wayside as well. We will make or do for each other. There's no price tag on that.
We usually have a huge group for dinner on Christmas. This year we had the MIL. Just 3 for dinner. At first I was worried it wouldn't be as nice as the huge family fests I'm used to. Then I removed the expectations and it went very nicely. Quiet, relaxed and cozy. I got to do the family thing over the next week, especially when little sis arrived from Montreal. Now at one point I started to get disappointed that what I thought was happening hadn't, and then I relaxed again and it all worked out. We are a relaxed group. Hmmm.... The tub looks smaller than it is.
We went out for New Years as a group - 4 sisters and 2 spouses, 1 brother and his partner and all her sisters and spouses. My DH stayed home as he was a sick, sick puppy. I missed him, but we all danced on. Again, you can't sweat the stuff that just happens. It won't change and you'll miss the chance to dance! We don't get enough of those, do we?
Another way I have reduced gifting stress is to make a whack of things I like and let people chose (or not) what they like. Here are the female recipients in their new neck warmers. I used up tons of odd yarns. You'll notice the sad sister with wine glass and no neck warmer. You snooze, you lose. I'll get her later. I never remember to count. The male recipients got little metal puzzles to put together. I have not received pics of the finished projects yet. Those who don't send one may be off the list next year. Or at least last to pick.