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December Daily 2022 - Or, How I Didn't Lose my Mojo, I Just Needed To Lighten the Load

Every year I say, oh jeez, I wonder how we got here? But this year it’s extra true. I was gobsmacked when I looked at the calendar yesterday and realised that December is Thursday. As in THIS Thursday. I’ve been so busy that it just didn’t feel like that could be true. Thursday?

For the first time ever, I’m heading into December with zero presents bought, or even ordered, and no lists at all. I also have no idea about how I want to document it all.

And the funny thing is, I’m not even stressed about it. I'm positively zen.

I’m just not really feeling it this year.

Last week, the day before my birthday (50!), I got Covid, after all this time avoiding it like some kind of smug superhero. It hit hard and I’m still not feeling great today, day nine. So that's the vibe I am taking into December with me. Blergh.

But even before getting sick, I had asked the kids if it would be OK if we just did Christmas softly this year. Lights and ornaments on the tree but not much else by way of decorating around the house. Thankfully, they were fine with that. “Less stuff to pack away later” Zara said. Helps that they are both teenagers now.

Clutter stresses me out at the best of times, let alone this time of year. Summer is also about to arrive and the thought of a home crowded with Christmas 'stuff' during stifling heat feels ugh. I want our December to be clear and bright.

I’m already thinking about ways I can scale back our Christmas day too - the day I historically Martha Stewart myself into oblivion. List upon list, countless recipes, a table to ‘scape’ and a general compulsion to be way too ‘extra’.

(In case you are feeling slightly sorry for me and my burden of doing Christmas perfectly and all by myself, I need to confess that I absolutely made it that way. I liked it that way. Monica Gellar would be so proud. "It's me, hi, I'm the problem it's me").

Do I sound Grinchy? I don’t mean to. I’m just making a very calculated pivot towards a quieter, simpler and more peaceful holiday. I’m having a moment of clarity and honesty when it comes to what I can - and want to - handle this year. It's a freaking breakthrough!

Christmas will still be magical and beautiful and special. But it might not be perfect - maybe a little bit rough around the edges.

And I think that will help me from getting, well, a little rough around the edges. Wonderful.

OK, so let’s talk December Daily plans.

I am in. Taking on this documenting project every year (my 15th!) is sacred, but I hope to bring my newly-found zen attitude to it.

I was lying in bed this morning thinking about what kind of project I felt like making and kept coming back to ‘small’. It feels right.

I was able to order one of Jamaica’s acrylic Christmas albums (I got the red one) and that made my size decision for me - 4 x 5.5. Perfect. A little paper book that I plan to keep simple and fun.

This is the only actual physical paper project I make each year so I’m happy to get out the glue and scissors again. I have plenty of digital stash so will probably just use what I have (and now would be the perfect spot to plug my newly released Christmas digital templates in the shannanpages shop).

I did a little handmade 4x5 book last year and loved working on it.

This time I might go back to a more traditional story/photo a day structure. I think I’ll use this project to document the little pieces of joy that find me each day in December. I know they will be there.

So here’s to calm and magical December days and capturing them all in my little book like fireflies in a jar.

Here’s to new and old traditions.

And here’s to bending the holidays to be the way you need them to be instead of the other way around. I just turned 50 - I can’t be bending.

Merry Christmas friends - see you in the December Daily trenches Thursday!

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