Amidst the Holiday Chaos…

Amidst the Holiday Chaos…

Christmas Cookie gingerbread man with broken leg…don’t forget to slow down, make time for friends and loved ones, and try to remember that this time of year isn’t about rampant consumerism, or the latest technological gadgety doo-dads, or the eight dozen cookies you need to make for the school cookie exchange. The holiday season holds special meaning for many people, for many different reasons. For me, it’s about reminding myself that this shouldn’t be the only time of year when I count my blessings. It shouldn’t be the only time of year when I make a point to get together with friends and celebrate the fact that we are in each other’s lives. It shouldn’t be the only time of year when I do something special for my son, like taking him to see the Festival of Lights at the Cincinnati Zoo¬†or going iceskating at Riverscape.

I realized this evening while I was adding more content to my website (in a desperate attempt to reach the white whale of 50,000 pages….eek) and feeling in general like despite the 7 hours I put into it today, I still hadn’t gotten “anything” done, that I need to slow down a second and look around me before I miss all the good stuff. Yes, I have two articles to write for the Dayton City Paper before December 12th. Yes, I have a laundry list of websites to do SEO for that should have been done….um….yesterday. Yes, I have a stationery business to run. Yes, I have gingerbread cookies to bake with my son (no, not like the above…that was a joke, I couldn’t help myself). Yes, I have a million places to be in December, and the countdown to the busiest month of the year is at t-minus three days. {Insert screaming into pillow here…}

The point I’m trying to make is that it’s easy to feel overwhelmed during the holidays…to feel like you’re “never going to get it all done in time.” If you’re like a lot of people, your calendar fills up quickly in December with holiday parties, work festivities, family get-togethers, shopping excursions, meeting friends for cocktails, et cetera, et cetera… but try to remember that if you ARE one of those people with a full calendar, consider yourself completely and utterly blessed. You’re flat out lucky. Because there is nothing better than surrounding ourselves with those we love, during the holiday season but also throughout the rest of the year.

So stop screaming into the pillow, and stop freaking out that you’re never going to get it all done at work…this is no different than the rest of the year, honestly – you just have more stuff to do because this is the time of year when people decide to get together and celebrate something, be it Christmas, Hanukkah, or Festivus. And that’s a blessing. So take a deep breath, go put on your favorite ugly sweater, pick up your mug with the moose antler handle and savor every last sip of that eggnog. EMBRACE the holiday craziness. Because before we know it, it’s going to be January, and we’re all going to complain about how the holidays are over and now there’s nothing to do. So before that happens, while you’re feeling festive, go tell someone you love them. Go adopt a family in need, give a Good Neighbor Sack from Dorothy Lane Market, or send a card to someone far away. Just try to slow down and find the true meaning of the season, whether it’s spiritual, philanthropic, or family-oriented – enjoy the gifts of the season, and share whatever you can with others who might need a reminder (or a hug). We’re all in this together. Much love, health and happiness to all of you…now and in the coming days and weeks…

And if you want to try the world’s best Gingerbread Cookies, here ya go…(tip: they’re even better after they’re a few days old – if they make it that long…)

Gingerbread Cookies (a recipe from my Godmother, Aunt Janet)

  • 1 c white sugar
  • 1 c margarine
  • 1 c molasses
  • 1 c buttermilk
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 5 tsp ginger
  • pinch salt
  • 7 cups flour

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl, roll out dough onto floured surface and cut with cookie cutters. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. When cool, decorate with white icing and red hots. YUM!