I've officially had my "it's-now-less-than-a-month-until-Christmas" panic attack. I seem to go through this every year at some point (and I think since many of my gifts are homemade, I go through it earlier than a lot of people who buy all their gifts). It's about now that I realize I can't possibly accomplish everything I had set out in my original "Christmas Plan". I took some time today to reflect on why I always feel the need to get myself all stressed out around Christmas. I am supposed to be living a simpler, calmer, more peaceful life. Really. But some part of me is still addicted to the adrenaline rush of a mile-long to-do list. I need to get over that. Now. I am not Martha Stewart and I do not need to create a "perfect" holiday. I have subsequently downgraded my plans for a couple of people's gifts (don't worry, they'll still be nice!) and I feel calmer already. Now I just have to get the overseas Christmas cards ready to mail, and get things ready for the kid's Advent Calendar (more about that later.)
As a bit of an antidote to the Christmas stressfest I've been giving myself, I have been reading Choosing Simplicity:Real People Finding Peace and Fulfillment in a Complex World by Linda Breen Pierce. I'm really enjoying this book - it's interesting to see how varied the choices are that different people have made in their quest for a simpler life. I find myself identifying with bits and pieces of almost every person's story. I would definitely recommend this book to almost anyone who has a simpler, more peaceful existence in mind.