How did it get to be December 3? And why am I always surprised to find myself behind the tinsel-covered 8-ball when the holidays are nigh?
Last year was hard. I didn’t have a lot of funds for gifts (let alone shipping), and I stayed put in Seattle rather than visiting family in Michigan (or other exotic locales like North Platte, Nebraska and Dahlonega, Georgia). While it’s been a year of personal and professional growth, not much has changed when it comes to Christmas. I’m still financially strapped and I’m not getting patted down by a TSA agent anytime soon.
But I’m not throwing in the towel on the holidays. I still plan on connecting with friends and family in meaningful ways and will be offering up some suggestions all month for you to do the same.
Pulling out a few questions from Beyond the Family Tree is a smart way to change the conversation and the dynamic when you’re tempted to start the snarky monologue in your head or withdraw from the conversation in favor of a Bravo marathon. Try asking older relatives how they celebrated the holidays when they were kids or what their favorite gift was. And ask about high school crushes or how they became a crazy train fanatic (or maybe that’s just my dad). Capture all the goodness on a Flip camera or your iPhone 4 for posterity (and for next year's holiday video, another perfect gift).
Simple Gifts, the other book I published in 2010, features all sorts of gifts you can make on the cheap and on the run. It makes a great gift in itself if you’ve got crafty folks on your list, but before you gift it, crack it open and make a batch of salted caramels, felted wine sleeves, candles, or magnets.
To help you out and prove just how easy these projects are, I’m planning on posting a video tutorial of a craft this month: which would you prefer to see—candles (one of which is featured on the book’s cover) or magnets?What traditions have you incorporated into your holidays?