I used to be one of those people who took the holiday season far too seriously. Being a crafty sort, I always made huge lists of things to make for gifts. Absolutely everyone on my list had to have something handmade. I would spend hours working my fingers to the bone, often staying up until the wee hours in the final week just to get it all done. I would worry and obsess and stress until the whole idea of fun and relaxation was very far removed from my reality. Finally I hit breaking point a few years ago. I realized that very few people truly appreciated those gifts that I sweated and labored over. In fact, most of the time they were just tossed aside with a token "oh, isn't that nice" and never mentioned again. I vowed to never make any gifts again except ones for people who genuinely appreciated them. So now I make a few things..a couple of pairs of socks for various people that I know actually wear them, a few fun things for the girls, something for K. who always proudly displays his handknits whenever we go to any yarn stores.
I have taken the same approach with other aspects of the holiday season as well. I stopped doing the big dinner thing after a memorable Dec 25th that was spent making around 7 or 8 different dishes, along with appetizers and dessert for K's family to partake in. When they arrived, they looked at all the dishes of food and declared themselves "Not really that hungry, thanks" and only nibbled on a few things. Never again! This year it is just K. and the girls and I for dinner on the 25th (his parents serve dinner at their place on the 24th). We are going to keep it real simple and just have a few of our favorites..grilled garlic prawns, orzo, salad, sweet chili peppers and snow peas. We plan to spend the rest of the day helping the girls with their new games and craft kits and just having quiet family fun.
And after the big day, we are going to do some Boxing Day shopping, eat left overs, and play with all the various goodies. I have a few gift knits that I just didn't have time to work on, so I will finish them up and gift them in the coming weeks. No rush, though, I'm too busy relaxing and enjoying the holidays like I never have before.