Some years I've made a huge production of Christmas - decorations, baking, cards, presents, and whatnot. And that was while working full time, and in years past being a mom of busy kids. And like most everyone I know there was all kinds of stress over getting everything done, attending every concert and party, and having my house looking perfect.
But this year I'm only working part time so had lots of extra time. We have an empty nest and both work from home. So I could have made a much bigger fuss for Christmas preparations, but I didn't. I now feel slightly guilty because I am not stressed about Christmas. But only slightly . . .
The decorations are a bit less than most years, and it doesn't matter because no one will see them except me and my husband. We aren't expecting any guests. No one will be here for the actual Christmas holiday because my oldest daughter is hosting this year. But the tree and the stockings are really for me anyway. They make me happy. My husband on the other hand would not be bothered if I never put up another tree - doesn't help, isn't interested. But I enjoy it so much!
It doesn't seem like Christmas without making my usual spritz wreath cookies. But I didn't make any. I have made 2 big batches of spiced nuts and do plan to make one more batch tomorrow, but those take less than 30 minutes, so are totally stress-free. I bought 2 frozen pies that I'll bake tomorrow to take to my daughter's house on Christmas Eve. No "from scratch" cookie baking at all this year - which actually does make me feel a little guilty. But I'll get over it. And my hips will thank me in January because I won't have eaten all of those things I usually bake.
We kept gifts for the grandkids simple and I actually had them all wrapped and under the tree 2 weeks ago. That is definitely not like normal years as I'm usually wrapping things at the last minute. Each kiddo is getting 1 thing to wear, 1 thing to read, and 1 thing to play with. Plus they are getting new pillowcases. The daughters and sons-in-law are getting a "family" basket with some fun and some useful surprises. And the stockings are full of fun but small goodies, like socks! We'll just pack it all up to take to our daughter's house on Saturday and then bring the empty stockings back home to hang up next year again.
The last of my Christmas cards are in the mail this morning. I so enjoy receiving Christmas cards and letters from friends and family living far away and living close by. That is one of the best things about this time of year - MAIL.
So, since I have completed my Christmas preparations, I'm going to go comb my hair, brush my teeth, and take myself out to a leisurely lunch. I'm hungry for Chinese food.