So. How was it?
I hope your holiday was peaceful, joyful, and full of connection.
Or at least peaceful. (wink)
We had a lovely (albeit a bit overstimulating) holiday at my childhood home.
The overstimulating part is fascinating, considering that it is simply the four of us plus my parents and my sister. (I'm beginning to suspect that my people might be a large part of the stim-factor. [See cookie plate above.] Hmmm…)
Indeed, my sister, the kids, and I got carried away on the grain-free and gluten-free treats, so no one was lacking in the sugar buzz department. We even recreated some old family favorites like peppernut and pecan puffs, sans-gluten. Next year? Kling. (Sweet, non-potato lefse.) Oh yeah.
Truly in all it was a perfectly lovely holiday.
I left feeling the gratitude I always do after a holiday with my family. The word that comes up for me is thougthfulness. No hastily bought gifts, no excess of stuff, few off-limits treats that my kids can't enjoy.
The gifts in particular are a treasure.
Goodness, my mom bought me not only the cookbook I've been coveting, but also a vintage manual egg beater and yes, a pStyle (TMI? Sorry. But public toliets weird me out plus we're often out in the woods. This thing is brillaint. I can't believe I just told you that.)
Really. Who gives gifts like that? She's fabulous.
As for my kids, it's even better. My parents gave each of my kids four things: a pair of pajamas, a pair of pants, and a book. They also gave Lupine a headlamp and Sage a watch.
That was it.
Practical, simple things. No noisy electronics or plastic or junk.
It felt a tiny bit like Little House when Mary and Laura each got a peppermint stick and new mittens and were happier than ever.
Okay, not exactly like that, but close.
I've talked about this before and tend to get a lot of emails asking how I got my folks on board.
The truth is, I got off easy. My parents just inherently "get it".
You see, my grandparents went over the top for my sister and I and it troubled my mom. She asked them to ease up and they didn't. (20 gifts for each of us was not unusual on Christmas back then.) And it really bothered her. It was way too much.
So when I asked my mom to give few gifts and ones that aligned with our values she agreed. Embraced it even.
I know for many it isn't so easy. All I can suggest is to keep at it if it is important to you – lovingly and respectfully – and hopefully they'll catch on. Do your best to see their hearts. They are probably doing their best with what they understand and how they see the world.
One resource that might help is the Alternative Gift Registry. Here you can ask for whatever you are wanting and guide your loved ones towards choosing appropriate gifts.
I'm so glad to be home.
Back in the quiet of these hills.
And I'm ready to get on with the rest of winter. To snuggle in and find our rhythm again. Because no matter how magical a holiday is, finding our everyday groove is always cozy comfort.