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handmade holidays

All I Want for Christmas is a Wool Farm


All I Want for Christmas is a Wool Farm

Smother me in Alpacas and Sheep; with a red barn and a cozy farm house where I can spin all the yarn and make all the things. 


*Sigh* A girl can dream, can’t she? That life sounds so much more peaceful and fulfilling than whatever I am doing now. I can’t say that I have the Christmas Blues, because I have the opposite of that… think more like National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. 


The first week of the Christmas Season was spent in a crazy holiday frenzy. Put up all the decorations, plan out all the presents, buy all the things, and make this house MAGICAL! It was stressful, and I’m not sure if I did anything even close to meaningful. 


There’s the struggle to make everything perfect and meaningful. I try to think back at traditions and the nostalgia of Christmases past and realize that my perfect christmases were probably not as perfect as I remember. I’m sure my mom stressed about how perfect she wanted things, how we should do XYZ just because. They were simple things that added up, and I can see how tired she could have been for Christmas. What ever her state of exhaustion, my mother loved the holiday and, happily, I inherited that love. It was probably the one thing I could really communicate with my mom on. She truly made the holiday season special. I hope to do the same. However, I’m not going to kill myself to make the holiday season match something I have sketchy memories of. 


The more I think of what my ideal Christmas would look like, the more I feel like I need to be living on a Ranch in Colorado or some mountainous region, maybe Canada (definitely Canada), and making wool for warm clothes. 


I think it’s time to put some breaks on the frenzy, and focus on the meaningful side of the season. 


My life was never perfect, in fact, it’s messy… and loud, and slow, and fast, and boring, and exciting, and depressing, and fulfilling. My holiday season is probably going to show that off a little. 


This year, I am going to do less shopping and more hugging. Less stressing about my life and more laughing with my babies. Less fear and more hope. 


There’s no telling what the next few weeks will bring, I am an idealist that’s often disappointed, but I do know that there’s going to be a lot of love. 


If there’s one thing that I’ve learned from my mother’s Christmases it’s that it doesn’t have to be magical to be incredible, but a little magic never hurt anybody. 


So, I’ll be here, writing to Santa for some sheep. I’m pretty sure that Sam will be a great sheep dog.



Holiday Self Care

When I was a child, my mother did everything to make the holidays a magical time. She put the tree up, and let it stay up well into January. She would dance to Christmas music in the car on the way to school. She would let us stay up late and watch the Christmas specials on tv. My favorite was the Christmas Eve tradition of driving around and looking at the lights on the houses, visit my Grandma and rush home to be in bed before Santa came. Christmas was my favorite tiof year, thanks to my mom. She worked hard to make the holidays perfect. 

I think a lot of us feel that similar pressure to make the holidays the better than the last year. It can be stressful, especially with the nostalgia from our childhood memories. Feeling the pressure to be "on" all season, to find perfect gifts for your in laws and extended family, not to mention gifts for the close family. I get it. Add hosting duties and it's over. It doesn't matter what religious background you come from, December can be a tough month. 

I am writing to you today to tell you that it's okay to take care of yourself. Your family won't remember the perfect christmases, especially since perfect doesn't exist. My list sounds a lot like mindfulness, and it is. Being present during the holidays has helped me get through some of the rough ones. It's okay to want to take care of yourself.

1. Step Back

It's so easy to get caught up in the need to make everything magical and perfect. So easy that we tend to forget what it is that we are actually spending time to celebrate. When this happens to me, I try to step back and practice a little mindfulness. Think about what you need to do in this moment. Think about your problems within the larger scope of the world. Think about all you have, rather than what you don't have. (Trust me this one is hard for me, everyone knows how much I love shopping) We really do have so much, even if all we can be thankful for is the breath in our lungs. 

2. Find Your Tradition. 

We all have the tradition that we love. What is the one thing that can make you really enjoy the holidays? For me it's walking around my neighborhood at night, slowly taking in my neighbors light displays. For someone else, it might be attending an Advent church service. Hell, I even love having a fire in the fireplace with my knitting and a big glass of wine. (But that's everyday, so I don't know if it counts) Either way, find something that you can do that makes you enjoy your time. 

3. Set Boundaries

You can't do everything, and really, who wants to? If you're knitting or making hand made gifts, allow yourself some time to make them, and make them for people who will appreciate it. (We have the term Knit Worthy for a reason ha ha) If you're going to be stressed out by that one racist uncle at your holiday party, remove yourself from the conversation. Christmas is my happy space. I don't mind making things for people and I definitely don't mind engaging when someone is being rude, but if that person is in my happy space either physically or mentally and they're draining my joy, they can leave. It's that simple. If they want to engage in controversial topics, they can take it outside. If I wonder if I am wasting my time on a gift that wont be appreciated, I buy them something easy instead. My sacred space is for me and the joy of my family, and I welcome people to join me there. It doesn't mean that I have to let people take advantage of my love. 

4. Give Back

The holidays are a time to remember that we aren't alone in this world, and that there are people who are having a more difficult time than we are. The whole basis of this design company is to give back to people who work hard all year to make the world a better place to live in. Find some way to give back this holiday season. Seek out a charity or program that could use you. Volunteer at a food bank. Give money to those in need. It might not seem like it, but giving back is the single most important thing you can do during the holidays that will bring you joy. I know what it's like to be poor and unsure of where my next meal is going to come from. I know what it's like to work hard for almost nothing. These people deserve our love and respect. We are in this life together, help each other. Love each other. 

These are some of the things that help me bring back my Holiday Joy. What are some of yours? Do you have any special traditions that you absolutely love? What makes this time of year special to you? Add yours in the comments below.