Welcome to Simple Joys on Chief 187™Chatter.
This season is highly emotional for me. I run the gamut from giddy with joy to feeling the weight of the world. I am thrilled with my family and the excitement that is pent up surrounding the holidays and, at the same time, saddened that all of my family is not with me throughout the season.
These feelings could become overwhelming and in the past they have, but now I know to look for my Simple Joys. Instead of fixating on what I don’t have, what I miss, and what I cannot change, I concentrate on the blessings I do have. I put my focus on the positives this season offers and let them wash over me.
I still feel what I feel, happiness, sadness, excitement, longing, joy, numbness, and even stress, but the harder times are tolerable because I have faith that when Simple Joys come along I can grasp them.
My favorite Christmas songs on the radio, a great Christmas episode of a beloved television series, a gathering of friends in my home, baking cookies with my children, and wonderful times alone with my husband are all Simple Joys that carry me through and help me enjoy the season.
And now, without further ado, is this week’s Simple Joys.
Snow! After the harrowing ordeal that was Superstorm Sandy, my community was looking forward to a dull end of fall. But early last week our town had a “snow event” that was supposed to leave a trace to an inch of snow. Instead, it started snowing at 5 am and didn’t let up until late afternoon. We didn’t get a lot of snow – only about 4 inches – but the schools were concerned and sent the children home early.
I was thrilled! By lunchtime my children were home and we suited up for an afternoon romping around the newly and continuously falling snow. We made snowman, had snowball fights, and I shoveled the entire driveway and walkway so my husband wouldn’t have to return home that night to do it.
Having the early unexpected snowfall turned into an afternoon full of Simple Joys.
Chocolate chip cookies. I baked my first batch of Christmas cookies of the season. My children and I adore chocolate chip cookies so I made the recipe late last week.
I’ll be making more this season as they are gone! But mixing, dropping, baking, and sharing these cookies with my children was a tasty Simple Joy!
Shelf. Last spring I asked a dear friend who is a good woodworker to make a mulit-tier shelf to my specific dimensions. We talked at length what I needed out of the piece and he was certain he could fulfill my request.
Last week my shelf was delivered by my friend. It was not just good it was perfect!
My friend and I sat and admired his work, caught up on events, and shared a cup of coffee and some chocolate chip cookies. My shelf – and my friend’s visit – was a Simple Joy fueled by anticipation and awash in relief that it is exactly what I wanted and now a part of my home.
Barbie ornaments. As a child I loved Barbie doll. Once I grew up, I loved Barbie doll. I also have always and still do love Christmas. When Hallmark Keepsake ornaments debuted Barbie ornaments, I was hooked. For years, long before I even thought about having children, I collected these miniature versions of popular Barbie dolls in their vintage clothing and holiday finery. My collection, although not complete, is vast.
For years they have sat in storage. But now I have a place for them. The shelf my friend made was created to display my little treasures.
Once the shelf was hung in a prominent location my daughter, who had never seen my collection, set to work and unwrapped each ornament from the box. We placed each ornament on the shelf in a specific order and admired our display at the end.
Having a special place to showcase my Barbie ornaments – and share them with my daughter – was a Simple Joy decades in the making.
Rise of the Guardians. As I have mentioned throughout this year, going to the movies is a family favorite now that our youngest is able to sit through an entire feature. This past weekend we saw Rise of the Guardians.
It was a terrific movie! I was much invested in the story and, truth be told, was emotionally drained upon its conclusion. I won’t give any spoilers here, but I do highly recommend the film. I know when it comes out on DVD my family will own it and add it to our library of Christmas movies.
Watching Rise of the Guardians with my family was a Simple Joy that made me excited for Christmas, have faith in humanity, cheer for children, and feel intensely.
As the weeks melt into days until Christmas I am gently reminding myself to try to relish the moments that are far too fleeting. I look forward to Christmas all year long and thus must do what I can to make the entire season enjoyable.
I, too, can stumble into the pitfalls surrounding the holiday season, but being aware and arming myself with the capacity for Simple Joys has done much to elevate my enjoyment level.
Wishing you all another week filled with Simple Joys.
Please join me tomorrow for my 2012 Santa’s Helper Gift Guide on Freestyle Wednesday on Chief 187™Chatter.