I have come to terms with my expectations and abilities and do not try to create the "picture perfect Christmas"
I prefer a balance of relaxation and activity with gaps of time for reflection, mugs of tea, book reading, an opportunity to savour and notice the small things that enrich life for me.
I have simplified my life by shopping ahead for gifts. I attempt to find appropriate and useful gifts that the person I am gifting to would appreciate.
I often find thrift shops have lovely glass containers and cookie tins which I can fill with cookies, shortbread and homemade bath salts.
Pretty vintage cookie tins need little more than an ribbon and a simple tag.
I also find tea towels are invaluable as gift wrap.
I do not over decorate...
other than a few touches our tree is the focus and we do not put that up until 2 weeks before Christmas.
Family, friends and entertaining are the focus.
(as well as my sanity!)
I do not "do stress well" so the weeks before Christmas I am purposely enjoying life at a slower pace.
I bake time honoured family recipes for shortbread and rum balls.
I stumbled upon a Christmas cake recipe from Bon Appetit magazine which I have made for the past few years. It is much lighter than my mothers' cake recipe and can be made and served the same day if desired...these make great gifts for my uncle and other elders who no longer take the time to bake for themselves and it marries well with a fortifying glass of sherry!
(Harvey's Bristol Cream is a Humble Bungalow Basic)
Mother's cake recipe is very tasty, it is dark and heavy with fruit plus it makes and enormous amount and needs to be baked and stored for at least a month before serving.
(It also needs to be liberally doused with brandy or rum every week!)
I have put a few simple things about the Bungalow to get ready for the season...
Mr. HB's mother had this vintage wreath for many years
when she gave it to us
I was thrilled
it is one of my favourites...
glass balls and Sherman rhinestone brooches !
Mr. HB strings up white mini lights throughout the Bungalow
The Ojibwa duck decoys which reside year round have some "greenery" now!
wire card holder waiting for cards
I send Christmas cards but my list is not as large as it once was...
I have purchased the cards
Mr. HB usually writes the cards
sometimes he adds a newsy letter.
My weekend has seen some busy moments and some quiet time.
I wrapped presents until I got a severe cramp in my hand
that made me cry out in pain.
I had only wrapped a few
and had to stop
I was in pain for 2 days and only now is starting to feel better
I am quite mystified
My son suggested it was something pinched in my neck
he has had this happen
and has had to go for massage to fix the problem.
So it appears that I am in need of a massage
I have tight shoulders
maybe it was too much typing at work or
a build up of tension
I have been stressed about driving during the recent snowfall.
so it's time for some
Yoga in the Bungalow
what are your strategies for a relaxed and joyful festive season?