Friday, December 5, 2014

"Tis the season to be jolly...'tis folly to be stressed.

'Tis the season to be jolly...
try to keep that in mind while others are running around in a panic.

Lists make a huge difference for me when planning for Christmas gift giving and shopping.
I try to shop local in small stores near where we live.
For many of our friends I opt for consumable our stage of life we have most things that we need and many of us are thinking about de-cluttering and downsizing to smaller homes and condos.

I also make a list of things that I need to do...
my current lists looks like this:

~ order turkey
~ write out Christmas cards
~ wrap gifts
~ pick a date for the tree decorating/pizza night
~ buy stamps
~ make a swag for our door
~ make rum balls
~ make chocolate bark
~ go shopping for grandchildren with lovely DIL

Things are looking festive and bright...

The Laurel Point Inn on the Harbour is all dressed up for the holidays.

Sun set and all is calm on the water.

My sister and I took Mom to see the annual decorated gingerbread house display at The Laurel point Inn last week.
It was well worth seeing as many amateur and professional bakers rolled up their sleeves and got very creative...
it was most impressive.

The only time that I ever tried my hand at making a gingerbread house it was a total disaster!
The house tilted sideways and the walls collapsed.
It tasted good...

Look at the attention to detail.

Many many hours went into these houses...

The Baggins residence was my favourite of all the entries...

There was a Dental themed entry with a toothbrush, floss and toothpaste.

a good reminder with all the sweets that are around at this time of year

There was a mouse house...
aren't these adorable?

There's even a Santa Mouse visiting the house!

Looking out at this beautiful scenery reminds me that we need to keep calm when so many people around us are showing signs of stress and becoming impatient and cranky.

I have been mindful of others and have made every effort to allow others to go first in line ups and have politely yielded to merging traffic.

I usually do these things but I feel that it is even more important to be patient and kind when there are crowds.

Take time out to refocus and relax.

Keep things simple.
Stay hydrated get a good nights sleep.
Walk in the fresh air and breathe deeply.

Stay focused on the positive...
don't be tempted to go into debt buying presents
live within your means
make some or all of your gifts
give a gift of your time
offer to babysit for a busy mom
visit an elderly relative or shut in
be kind to others 
 give to those less fortunate.

"Tis the season of giving after all.

Give yourself the gift of a stress free holiday.
Choose peace and sanity and savour the little things.


  1. The Baggins residence looks like an amazingly detailed work of art. How fun to see a story come to life like that. The views from the Laurel Point are gorgeous. Glad you enjoyed your visit to the gingerbread display.
    I'm mostly done with going out shopping. It's a good feeling to have that done. I have a few sewing projects to finish up and decorating and such. This afternoon I enjoyed a cup of tea with daughter #1 while her little one napped upstairs. Lovely times.

  2. Thank you for the pictures of Christmas trees. So helpful to get me in the holiday mood!

  3. Lovely reminders of taking care of yourself and focusing points towards a stress free Christmas season. I took in the trees at the Empress the other day...I should check out the Laurel Point Inn also, love your pics and thanks for sharing them.

  4. So Calm so Bright! Thank you for this post. My husband and I are challenging ourselves to exercise at least (and realistic) 31 minutes for 31 days in the month of December! We accomplished this goal last year. It was a great stress reliever and helped us stay focused on our health and well being during this busy time of year. Also, we were in a bit better shape for ski season.

    Happy Holidays,

  5. Your photos are lovely! Can you imagine the care that goes into those creations? I always find myself overwhelmed by obligations at Christmas. Healthy eating, focus and exercise definitely help to create a more balanced approach.

  6. The houses are adorable...little works of art. I have never attempted a ginger bread house but I have always loved them.

  7. Thanks for showing us the pictures of the gingerbread homes. They are quite amazing! I'm going to suggest to my son from Oak Bay that he takes Lucy (my granddaughter) to see them.

  8. Those ginger bread houses are amazing. I've never seen any quite like that. The Baggins residence in particular...little Bilbo with his pipe is so sweet. Hope you have a merry and stress-free holiday.

  9. The gingerbread houses are fabulous, esp the hobbit one. The only way I could keep my gingerbread houses from collapsing was to use glue. Of course, then you couldn't eat it!
    Good advice for all of us , keeping things peaceful and joyous.

  10. Beautiful photos! Especially the harbor.

  11. The Hobbit gingerbread house is adorable. I think it would be a lot of fun to plan and make a fancy gingerbread house one year - but not this year or I would end up stressed and not calm ;)

  12. Thanks for the photos - some people's imagination and creativity is amazing. Great tips, too.

  13. Lovely photos and such timely advice. Mr T and I have been walking for five weeks now whilst he has been recuperating, sometimes twice a day. Feels so good and Mr T has lost 10kg through a healthier eating regime as well. Amazing how an Open Heart Surgery can refocus one on one’s health! I have been taking advantage of these walks to shop locally too and have found some really nice gifts. Christmas fare will be simple this year and I plan to accept the offers from others to bring a salad or dessert. Gorgeous son has already offered to bring the cheese platter. My sister likes to set the table and arrange flowers the evening before. It’s a bit of a tradition we share. I shall be in charge of glazing the ham and cooking a leg of Pork. Mr T will take care of the beverages and Mum has made the cake and pudding. Both my sons in law are great at making interesting salads. I’m suddenly looking forward to the day now that I’m thinking about it. If it’s warm the little ones will be sure to be in the pool. (Another tradition). Such a lovely day with family life in the forefront isn’t it? Thanks for your lovely post. You always have terrific photos and something inspiring to impart! Tonkath x

  14. The Gingerbread Houses are amazing! I've never seen anything quite like them. Those tress are so pretty. We just started in our tonight. Great tips for keeping the holidays calm. We can all use the reminders:) xo