Two years ago I shared how I tried to tailor my holiday plans to more fun and less fuss. Just at that time I finished writing Do not think about it too much And feeling empowered, I recently recognized how much of the hustle and bustle of my holiday was actually under my control.
So, more than ever, I was going to decide what was important to me and my family, and plan accordingly. We did not try a lot of new recipes that year. We have curtailed some of the great efforts of giving gifts with good but exhausting intentions that we have stumbled upon. We played lots of Christmas music and made millions of sets of Mix Checks and Spicy Nuts.
I did not know that my changes in 2019 would dwarf the changes we made last year.
This year I’m working on putting things together a bit. Not only to rephrase how I approach some of our holiday duties, but to thoroughly reconsider how our traditions should look. Over the years we have had traditions coming and going. I do not expect much push from my kids just because “we always did it that way.”
Will has a saying, (imagine him saying this when he’s busy with All The Gear that a family of 6 requires, to walk several long streets to the beach), “to enjoy is hard work: to do the work.”
Just as I tried to dodge doing our kids nonsense in a sock simply because they look forward to things, I work on a relaxed schedule that leaves room for fun activities that are also difficult. But I ruthlessly cancel out any of the projects we do because we do it that require a lot of work but offer little return.
I want to do things with the high reward. I’m willing to do the job – if it’s worth it.
Here’s how: My kids always want to make Christmas cookies. I hate this. Partly because I have blood sugar issues and I do not want a kitchen full of cookies (that is, literally All the way full How they plan it). But also partly because of the assumption that holiday cookies should be part of the season, and not associated with them for a special moment.
but then. We caught on during the full closure last year for holiday entertainment, we watched a live broadcast of How to make the perfect cookie box. Not just how to bake cookies, but how to put together the perfect box with a balance of basic, interesting, fruity and chocolatey cookies. We were excited; We got inspired!
We bought ten types of sprinkles, ruby chocolate, a cookie press. Then we hurried to volunteer to take over the big family cookies of Christmas. It was a job, yes, but it became caseBaking itself has become a family activity, its own entertainment. And there was of course a delicious “moment” where my whole family could enjoy them. (Okay, lots of moments – because after that we were full of cookies.)
We have known for some time that the holiday season of 2021 will not mean a return to any kind of “normalcy” for my family. We (still) deliberately think about how we want our holidays to look – and honestly, with so many variables in the mix, it was easy to get stuck in OnTo think in a way we have not thought for years. A dilemma between the experienced and the truth that we have always-done-so-what is desirable, or even practical, for this year.
Will recently remarked that it was time to visit again Do not think about it too much Principles to strengthen our confidence in making decisions for the season. So this is what we do now in my house: we decide what’s important, and then we decide once. We appreciate our family rituals and traditions, both new and old. We consider a waste of wisdom, and ask ourselves what a simple abundance will look like at home in the coming weeks.
We do not have all the answers we need, but we feel good about the process.
We are sure we want to enjoy some difficult but especially enjoyable seasonal seasonal experiences while releasing those that are simply interesting. We’m making cookies again and we’re going to see friends perform in the theater. But we’ll be happy for more ideas.
What high-reward activities do you think are worth the effort in your life? Which ones require a lot of work, but also bring a big reward? I’m sure I’m not the only one who would love to hear your ideas and experiences in the comments.
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