The last month of the year. And it is a big one, I think. Such a busy month, with the hustle and bustle, and then the new year right at the end. So many emotions, so much to think about when we allow ourselves those moments to actually slow down enough to think.
One of the names for the full moon this month is the quiet moon. I think about how in the past when the moon acquired this particular name, how quiet it really must have been this time of year, and how far we have come from that. I am trying to find little pockets and moments of time to find that quiet and peace. More family read alouds at night, more screen free days for all of us to unplug and be together. I had time over this holiday weekend to think about it. We spent all long weekend doing things that we needed to do, but also made sure we had plenty of time to just be together in the moment. We took a small hike, where we found evidence of beavers, which was really amazing. Beavers haven’t been in the Detroit River for such a long time, and they are finally moving back in and that is exciting stuff! We bopped around, but on our own time. And it was really lovely. I hope to keep that sense throughout this month, despite having a million things to do. They will get done, and if they don’t I am not going to worry about it. I don’t need to make dozens of cookies – if I only make a few, then that is what we will have. That sort of thing.
That being said, I am actually looking forward to the things that I DO have on our calendar. Making a yule log dessert with my mom, making Empire Biscuits with my mom and sister-in-law, making cookies with sister-in-law and one of our best friends. We do that every year, and every year my friend and I make abysmal cookies while Chrissy makes amazing cookies. Poor Chrissy. Kelly and I are just not great cookie bakers! But it’s not about the cookies, it’s about the memories. We all had babies the same year, and we started this tradition when the babies were just born. Our husbands stayed in the front room with the kiddos while we baked, and it was such fun. Now four years later we are still doing the same thing. I had hoped to be done by December with my holiday shopping, and I almost made it! Just a few more things for my nieces and I can call myself officially done. We celebrate the big Christmas day with our families in happy chaos, and we spend solstice together, having a small little family of us dinner and reading and a hike outside. I think this year we will decorate a tree for the animals as well.
We are also going to dig in and watch all the holiday movie favorites, including my very favorite of all, Emmett Otter’s Jug Band Christmas! I have a feeling Wyatt is going to really love them this year, especially the Mickey Mouse one. And then one night we are going to load up in my brother’s big vehicle, his family, my family, and our mom, to drive through the local lights display. Simple things, nothing too big or too crazy. And of course we will see Santa. We discovered last year that our local metropark does visits with Santa and it was the best experience, so we are doing that again. You make a reservation for one of their three time slots, and there are only about 15 other kids there, tops. The kids make crafts at different stations, and wait for their name to be called; when it is called we go as a family into the room by the big windows in the nature center where Santa will sit, and have the room and the visit all to ourselves. It is so low key and fun and we love it. It is not too overwhelming for my little guy either. We can take our time and just enjoy the entire thing.
So, we have a lot on our plates, but we tried to keep them simple and easy and attainable, with an emphasis on family and friends. It will be a rough month I think emotionally, grieving my aunt and stepfather, but with family and friends I will get through it, we all will, together. Jeanie from Marmelade Gypsy encouraged me to find a way to incorporate memories of them into our lives this holiday, and so we are planning on lighting lanterns outside one night in memory of them.
How about you? What are you looking forward to this December? How do you plan on keeping yourself sane?