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21

Simplifying & Savoring the Holidays

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The expression, “time flies,” certainly seems appropriate this time of the year. It’s not even Thanksgiving and already the stores are playing Christmas music and holiday decorations line the shelves. It doesn’t seem that any store misses the chance from Walgreens to Home Depot; where ever I go the holidays are everywhere.

 

I think it’s important to step back and try to simplify; savoring the small stuff.

 

The holidays seem to be a whirlwind as soon as the Halloween candy disappears. This year I decided I wanted to savor my Halloween pumpkin. So rather than wait until the day before Halloween to pick one out; I selected one in late September and was able to enjoy it on my front stoop all month long.

In fall usually we drive out to the country for fresh apples. Sure, I know our local grocery stores have plenty of apples but getting these from a roadside stand is much more fun. These aren’t as pretty as those found in Whole Foods or Giant, but they seem to taste better and you can crunch into them on the drive home.

We’ve simplified Thanksgiving dinner and rather than have one at home, we’re heading to my neighbor’s house for a communal Thanksgiving. I’m bringing the pies, which is much more fun than worrying about the turkey and all the sides. For those of you who know me, I don’t really like to cook, so this suits me just fine. My mother and I are collaborating on the recipes and baking talents and that is so much fun too.

This year is unusual since Thanksgiving and Hanukkah fall on the same day. This won’t occur again in our lifetime so it just seems appropriate to make it extra special. We’ll also celebrate with potato pancakes instead of mashed potatoes and light the Hanukkah candles.

Shopping before the Thanksgiving dishes are washed seems to lack holiday spirit. I certainly won’t be hitting the malls. Black Friday was bad enough, but retail on Thanksgiving just doesn’t seem in the holiday spirit. I feel bad for employees who opt to work. Even if they get overtime; it just doesn’t seem they should be working instead of being with families and friends.

While I don’t decorate the outside of my house, I really love the spirit of Christmas indoors. Over the years I’ve accumulated a lot of ornaments so while I’m decorating; I’m also trying to simplify and give away the decorations that aren’t meaningful. I’m sure someone else will enjoy them and that makes me happy too.

It’s always fun to go for a drive at Christmastime to see holiday lights. I’m always in awe of families who labor for hours with their outside lights and holiday décor. What are you doing this year to savor and simplify the holidays?
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