8 Rules for Your Best Holiday Season :: #GivingTuesday

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Is anyone else feeling a tad overwhelmed? The holidays are officially here. There are so many things I should be planning/sending/decorating/wrapping/buying/writing/cleaning right now. I'm behind on blog posts. I ignored Black Friday and Cyber Monday and am ashamed to admit I have a FOMO feeling about it. I wanted to do ABM's December Daily project but lo and behold it's Dec. 3rd and I never got it going. There are actually a thousand amazing holiday crafts I want to be doing, for that matter.

But, it's okay! It's more than okay actually. I had the most amazing Thanksgiving weekend ever, (minus the fact that I missed my family a bunch). I saw so many friends, bringing old and new together, laughing, sipping, and enjoying the weather (I'm a poet and I know it). We had not one but TWO Thanksgiving dinners, one on a farm out behind Mount Diablo and one up at our friend's cabin in Tahoe. We had a Friendsgiving party in the backyard complete with a fire and leftovers. We went wine tasting in Napa with one of my besties from home and enjoyed a romantic dinner in Yountville at one of our absolute favorite spots. We crushed the Alameda flea, getting our holiday shopping started, and enjoyed some of the most happy, wonderful, feel-good music I know at the Independent.  All in four days. So although I feel a bit behind and overwhelmed, I'm going to venture to say that it's been worth it.

And even better - I have a plan for getting back on track. I'm going to keep things simple this year by living by these 8 rules. Just writing these down I feel the slate getting wiped clean; like I'm starting the season with a clear mind, and I'm right back on track.

8 Rules for Your Best Holiday Season

1. Be a kid again. Write a note to Santa, talk about elves with your closest 6-year-old buddy, and wish on shooting stars.

2. Call friends. They probably want to catch up with you even more than they want that decanter/necklace/pair of J.Crew socks you've been stressing over for 2 days.

3. Play games. With hot chocolate! I think if you play some games you're actually covering #1, 4 and 5 so I'll definitely be doing some of this in December. If only I could get someone to play with me...

{Polish horseshoes in the backyard}

4. Be festive. This can mean many things, and it doesn't mean you need to stress out about going to every holiday party you're invited to. For me it will mean small celebrations with friends, getting a Christmas tree, and going to the Nutcracker with my sister.

5. Be lazy. This is an important part of the holidays too. It's what fires and blankets and flannel pajamas were made for. I think my laziness will come in the form of turning on the TV for once and watching as much of ABC's 25 Days of Christmas as humanly possible.

6. Keep it simple. 5 ingredients or less. One stop shopping. Less-is-more decorations. Finding that one favorite holiday outfit that you can wear to at least 3 events (all with different people, of course!).

{dried apricots, chรจvre, toasted walnuts, agave}
7. Be outside. Fresh, crisp air equals the holidays for me. The smell of wood fires and pine and pies and fresh snow. Breathe it in!

8. Give Back. The world has been so good to me, and I know that returning the favor will give me a greater joy than anything else on this list. Today is #GivingTuesday and so it's a great day to start! Click here or here for more info on #GivingTuesday, but basically it's turning the first Tuesday of December into a day of giving. Counterbalance those icky, consumery feelings created by Black Friday and Cyber Monday - and give back in whatever way you can today, whether it's giving food, time, money, or toys. Then carry on the message. 

 {photos are all from Thanksgiving weekend and edited on VSCOcam}

So what do you think? Do you have any "rules" to add that would help keep the holiday joyful and simple? Happy #GivingTuesday everyone!

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