it’s december! IT’S DECEMBER! i’m excited. i am. i keep reminding myself that what happens today is what matters. not tomorrow, not two weeks from now, today. because these todays, they’re going to fly.
so… for the last few years i’ve tried to make lists for myself of things i like to do this month. things that make ‘the feeling‘ happen. i LOVE that feeling. i love it so much, i’ve looked for ways to work it in the rest of the year. but for some reason, it’s most gratifying now. maybe because it’s dark, and cold, and the expectations on this time of year are so wonky.
anyway. the list. it’s looser this year. i like loose. my only goal… to get the kids out. to make memories. even if it’s cold. even if it’s raining… i want them to remember their mom being action, and spirit, and shaking it to christmas tunes while we ate cookie batter. walking around doing anything while eating gingerbread and drinking cocoa. and most important, that december is about more than buying. it’s bigger than more more more. it’s about that feeling. a small tightness in your throat because you’re so thankful for all you have, and you want to share. i love that feeling. i really do. also, in the vein of sharing that feeling… visually, i’m making a hashtag for IG. want to play? hash your photos #celebratethankgive i can’t wait to see! alright, on to the list!
holiday photos– we get our pictures taken by someone who knows what they’re doing… oh… about… once a year. if that. i met val last year, and i LOVE her amazing eye and stunning photography (that’s one of hers above). i took out my photos from last year and CRIED. maybe because i’m sappy, but more because she captured all the little things about my kids i love.
holiday simmer – pinterest is full of ideas for this. basically… find an old pot, put some water in it, and add things to start making smells that make your brain think ‘christmas!’
christmas movies – i have a list i keep on my phone. i mostly like really old, or really new. meet me in st. louis, holiday inn, mame, the shop around the corner, white christmas, love actually, the family stone, elf, the holiday. and now i get to rewatch all the kids ones… sweet!
make treats/cookie swap – i rarely get to bake any more… i love baking. it’s one of those things that’s autopilot for me. it’s lulling, and relaxing, and then there’s a sweet treat at the end. last year we took treats to the firemen, des loved it. i was thinking of doing it again this year, and then also a swap. i need to get on swap organization stat.
tipping for the season– if you’ve ever worked in retail or food service… this month is TOUGH. i’ve worked both, and by the end of december, you just want to be alone because… well, because everyone is an asshole. time to make someone’s day. get good service in a store? put a coffee card in their hand. see someone go really over the top helping someone? deal with a nasty customer? you can appreciate that. you don’t have to let their bosses do it. coffee cards are easy, and usually… much needed. and then tips… we go out for dinner maybe once a week… i like to over tip during this month. like… *gasp* over tip. i remember what it was like. big tips could make your week.
assemble survival packs. so, by far the most impactful thing on my list. my goal was to spend about $15 per bag, and that included a $5 coffee card. i bought most of the items at the dollar store and grocery outlet. if you’re unsure what this is- it’s basically this– you keep them in the car, and if you see someone who can use one, you hand it out. i made ten. i live in an area where there are a lot of pan handlers, and i see people pretty much every day who i would give them to. this year i’m deleting some items (deodorant, full toothpastes) and adding in more of what seems needed. by far the sharpie had a big response (people actually looked through it while i was there) and i feel like the hand warmers were an item i wish i’d bought a box of, and handed out after the bags were gone. also, the dollar store sells fairly decent gloves, and paired with the hand warmers… i’d almost do all this. i see so many bare hands…and it’s been so bitter cold.
pay it forward in line– ONE OF MY FAVOURITES! i love doing this. i don’t know why… it seems so ninja. and what a pleasant surprise to get up to pay, and it’s FREE! easiest in a drive through, i’ll most likely do this a few times this month. i hope it sparks a chain of i’ll-get-the-next-person’s-coffee/food/cheeseburger…
kids to santa– last year was the first time i waited in line… it was… harder than i thought. but i do love sending a new photo of kids dressed all fancy to grandparents and great grandparents, and getting out my own copy and seeing how they’ve grown. (sappy tears here)
drive around and see some lights/zoo lights – olympic manor is great, and i hear that there’s a few blocks around 85th near 15th that’s good too. easy to pack a thermos and some cookies into the car and take a walk (last year it was with an umbrella). an easy event to tag onto the end of a work day if it’s a clear night. and zoo lights… easily becoming one of my faves, even thought it’s been clear and cold the 3 times we’ve gone.
food bank donation- not sure if you’ve ever experienced not having a lot of money for food (i received food stamps in my early 20’s, while i figured some things out) and this article really sums up how people you know could be affected. i tend to do my grocery shopping later in the week, and plan to drop off a few bags. i’ve found the nearest food bank to where i live, and have added some of their most needed items to my grocery list.
find a giving tree – i didn’t make this happen last year, but always enjoyed picking someone’s tag when i worked at nordstrom. since i’ve doing a ton of sewing, i was thinking a quilt to a senior home… maybe this is less about a tree, and more about finding someone who wants a blanket.
christmas card– compile the list and order the cards, one of my favorite things to do every year. also a good time to update our photo share site with all the last couple of month’s photos.
make an ornament– really wanting to make these– i love the idea of the house smelling like cinnamon. i also have everything to make these– might be a little more kid friendly. perfect little something to tuck into boxes to family.
make this year’s christmas music mix– i haven’t met anyone who loves christmas music as much as i do. as a kid, i was banned from playing my gene autry christmas record, and usually took to playing it when no one was home. at any time of the year. now, every year i buy a new christmas cd, and make the new mix.
take daddy to lunch– we don’t get to see daddy during the weekday. what a treat to all get lunch together one time during the month.
daycare thanks – easy to take a treat, maybe some pretty flowers, and thank our daycare friends.
pet food to a shelter– this was another one i found online. i think i remember reading that during the holidays, shelters experience a lack of donations? maybe… either way, every dog i’ve had has been a rescue. easy to search online and see what’s needed at the closest shelter.
by far, a long list. i probably won’t get to all of these, but i like having them in my mind… and getting to as many as i can. i hope you have a great month. soak up all that decemberness… it’s gone before you know it.