Sometimes it seems as though the Thanksgiving weekend is the starter gun for the whirlwind of the holidays. Sure, stores have Christmas music playing and displays up in October these days, but most of us don't really immerse ourselves in the whole season until Thanksgiving arrives. Then we suddenly hit the ground running, doing what sometimes seems like a literal Olympic hurdle dash to New Years.
During the month of December, the Daily Vacation blog encourages you to continue to make time for yourself to get the most enjoyment of out this time of year. I truly enjoy the Christmas season and almost everything that goes with it (minus nasty eggnog, terrible versions of classic Christmas songs, and those huge blow up lawn decorations). However, some years I get so busy doing the holiday things that it's hard to stop and really experience everything personally.
This year, we are attempting to space out our events to leave a lot of time for just being a family and taking it a little slower. I really wanted to bring my daugher to see the trees and decorations at the King of Prussia Mall, so my mom and I took her before Thanksgiving when we could dip our toes in the Christmas season without having to fist fight with crowds or sit in holiday traffic (of course at 8 months old, I think she had more fun looking at her feet than the huge Christmas trees). We also scheduled a lot of our holiday traditions with my parents to be done over Thanksgiving weekend instead of returning for another weekend in December. It was a crazy weekend, but now we have more breathing room for the rest of the month.
As for our own personal traditions, we have carved out an entire weekend to go cut down a tree, bring it home, set it up, and decorate it. It probably won't take us all weekend (although we make the most of our high ceilings and wrestling with a 9ft tree takes time), but at least we can fully enjoy every moment of the festive task without feeling rushed. In the middle of the month, we also set aside a weekend where we are scheduled for absolutely nothing (which honestly, we were only able to do by turning down a few invitations), and I'm hoping for some timely snow!
So this season, I finally feel fully equipped to approach the holidays as I want to experience them. I hope that you look at your calendar and attempt to do the same. If you are dreading the month of December, maybe you need take out a few things that you only do out of obligation and add some things that your family simply wants to do. Turn down a few invitations, group shopping trips all in together, and figure out what this time of year means to you and your family. Now you can really have a joyous holiday season.