The announcements have begun in earnest – craft fairs and holiday fairs and sing-a-longs and all sorts of gatherings of the flesh and the spirit. Here at our house we even sent out our first package filled with yummy baked goods to an uncle in another state who has a lucky pre-holiday birthday.

As the holidays approach it’s time for me to pick and choose the events we’ll attend and the things we’ll do. Which ones feel good? Which ones work for us? Which ones make us feel panicky and stressed? The gift list must be assessed not necessarily because there are so many gifts to get but because I like to stay sort of mindful about the approach and I know that when it goes to the last minute I make hasty (read: expensive) decisions based on simple mindLESSness. Last year it was (almost) all second hand or hand made which felt really good as the day rolled around but which definitely takes a little more time and thought.

There are lots of things we like to do around/during the holidays.  I like to gather with friends. I like to sing. I like to make stuff and bake stuff.  I like to make sure that each object brought into the house or sent out into the world will bring good energy to the recipient – love, joy, fun, beauty, function. You know, all the necessary ingredients for any object really. 

This time of year comes every year and yet every year it sort of comes at me by surprise. At first. We have our rituals and our traditions and sometimes we add new things as well. I don’t always know exactly what we’ll discover in the holidays all around us but I do know how I want it to feel. And this year, more than ever, I’m going for the full on joy and the connection. What I’ve come to realize of late is what’s the point otherwise.

Last year we created this mini e*book to help folks find ways to create their own holidays – just the way they like them. It’s a brief foray into figuring out what’s important, what stresses you out, what influences and how you want to feel this holiday season. If you want a little guidance around creating your slow holiday, this simple e*book may be just the ticket.

And, as we’re always on look out for more ways to bring on the comfort and joy in our world, I’d love to hear what you’ve created for the holidays in your home. The first exchange of the season.