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Making a Meaningful Holiday {Friday Five}

freddie mercury and lady gaga gingerbread ornamentTruthfully, I become a little kooky around the winter holidays. My perfectionist tendencies and the dark days put me on edge. Excess time on my hands because I'm not gardening and canning allows me to try to craft the perfect experience, cookies, gifts, and meals. But life isn't perfect. Rather than be disappointed when my plans don't work out, this year I am trying to focus on being fully present to enjoy the most meaningful parts of our holidays:

1) Columbus Holiday Events - I don't like crowds but do enjoy the decorated spaces around Columbus. This year Lil and I will go to the Nutcracker, Franklin Park Conservatory, Zoo Lights, and the train at the Main branch of the Columbus Metro Library. We're going during the day before school gets out, naturally.

2) Crafting - Lil is at the age where she can be occupied for hours with a few quality art supplies. We are hosting a friend once a week to make holiday crafts and I love watching what their hands create. The gingerbread ornaments pictured are Freddie Mercury and Lady Gaga, by the way. We like to think they would have been an awesome couple.

3) Solstice Sun Bread - I posted our sun bread recipe and book recommendation last year. I truly cannot wait to welcome the sun's return and make this bread again in a few weeks.

4) Mailing Cards - As much as I often occupy a virtual world and disdain waste, I cannot resist paper mail. We printed postcards with Zazzle this year. Next week will be filled with writing messages and hopefully receiving cards in exchange. When we complete a few homemade gifts, we will send holiday packages to our friends in Japan too.

5) Xmas Eve Dinner - Other holiday meals are hosted by my elders so I claimed Xmas Eve as ours. We decorate the table with linens and crystal, shine Alex's inherited silver, and cook a luxurious meal of goose, mushroom pie, popovers, cranberry sauce and more. This meal is something I look forward to amidst the more materialistic aspect of the holidays.

What do you do to stay sane in December?