The ebb and flow of the holidays is curious. November kicks off the beginning of the season with gratitude and a bit of ease; it is the slower part of the season after all. Then that morphs into the chaos that is last minute everything. We're bombarded with messages that evoke just a little bit of panic in the perfection of getting everything "just right", whatever that means.
If the thought of these words invokes a bit of anxiety, perhaps even panic, I encourage you to pause. Take a minute to close your eyes, take a deep breath, and envision a way to opt out of that madness. Today is about structure, planning, and organization. Maybe you've already planned out your whole season. Maybe you've made your list, even checked it once or twice. Maybe you haven't even started. Wherever you find yourself on the quest for holiday cheer, today's the day to evaluate and add some structure.
One thing that we do in my house, and I wish I could take credit for it, but it is all my partner's doing, is to make a list of everything we do as we move through the holidays and how it makes us feel. We bake cookies for friends and family - did we bake enough, too many, is there a way we can make this easier on us, etc. Decorations - did we have to throw any lights away, was there something we wanted to buy but the store ran out before we purchased it (artificial garland, I'm looking at you). Each year before the holidays start we revisit the list and use the feedback for how we structure the year ahead. It doesn't take much effort and has become a huge life saver.
How do you feel about where you are in your holiday preparations? If you're already feeling a little overwhelmed, take a deep breath and remember there is still time. Also know that it is absolutely okay to take a few things of the to do list.
How can a little structure and organization improve your stress levels? Can you break big projects into little tasks so you build momentum as we get closer to the holidays? How can you carry this over to the regular day to day after the holidays.
Take a moment to either start a list of what needs to be done OR pull out your list and evaluate where things stand and what changes you can make to keep the chaos and stress at bay.
Today's gift is a Crystal on a Stick from Alison Wendy Designs. I am fortunate enough to call Alison a friend. She is a metalsmith in Minneapolis, MN. Her designs are stunning and I knew that I wanted to include a piece of her work in this year's boxes. I chose the crystal on a stick for a number of reasons. Mainly, it is one of my favorite gifts to give. I have a lot of plant parents in my circle of friends and they've loved receiving them. I also think it fits perfectly with the sentiments for today. When we look at plants and how they grow throughout the seasons, calling our attention to that flexibility that is simultaneously rooted (literally) in structure was a no brainer. Plants, and the nature around us, rushes for no one. They know nothing but staying true to their needs. And they always show up exactly how their supposed to, always on time. When you notice this gift in your space, throughout the holiday season and the rest of the year, I hope it serves as a reminder of that notion.