Hello, December!

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?

13 thoughts on “Hello, December!

  1. How lovely! I thought we were the only family that watched Emmett Otter. I grew up loving it and have enjoyed sharing it with my kids. We love driving around to look at Christmas lights and having an outdoor fire (with roasted marshmallows)! Trying to keep things simple this year and not decorate every inch of the house or try and plan every second. Just eat good food and enjoy family and being together at home.

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    1. I love Emmett Otter! I grew up watching it as well, and I just love it. Although now as an adult, sometimes it makes me cry! Lol. I have always wanted to have an outdoor fire this time of year. Maybe we will try one! It sounds like you have a lovely plan for the month ahead as well. πŸ™‚

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  2. The Quiet Moon. I love that. And it’s good timing, isn’t it? We all need to remember to honor the quiet during this advent season, though I know how hard that is for me to do! Go, go, go! Time to just sit and look at the lights or read or hear music is really essential for wellbeing and I would do well to remember it myself.

    I loved hearing about your traditions. They’re beautiful. And I know they must mean a lot to Wyatt, too. There is something about the continuity of tradition that moves forward in our lives. One of our biggies is frosting Christmas cookies on Christmas Eve after dinner. We started it long ago to keep the kids occupied before bed and now a new generation will be at it this year! The next day we pack up most of them for neighbors or guests to enjoy.

    Thank you for the mention in your post. The lanterns sound like the loveliest idea (and look a bit like a quiet moon, too!) I love that one. I’ll be doing a post on grieving during the holidays in the next week or two, Meanwhile, continue this holiday joy that makes me smile as I read your words.

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    1. It is so hard to find a moment of quiet sometimes! I am a person who definitely needs that quiet, so much. It’s how I recharge as an introvert. But my best friend is the total opposite! She needs the go go go and that is what makes her happiest and recharges her soul. It’s all about who you are and what makes you you. I think my husband is somewhere in the middle. πŸ™‚ He likes both.

      Oh I love that idea! What a fun tradition to have! And I love that now a new generation will be continuing that fun. πŸ™‚

      Thanks much Jeannie. I hope you are enjoying your December so far as well. πŸ™‚ Thank you for getting me thinking about how to include their memories in our Christmas season this year. πŸ™‚

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  3. We have so much going on with selling our house and having placed an offer on another one. I’m also planning to make cookies for the homeschooling group to take to the local police departments.

    I love the idea of doing something to honor loved ones for Christmas. This will be year number three without my aunt but it seems like yesterday. It might sound weird but every year we make sausage balls in her honor because she was so excited to make them her last year and four days after Christmas we lost her.

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    1. You do have a full plate! I think it is so nice that you are taking time do for the police while you are in the midst of such a busy month. πŸ™‚ I am sure your police departments will really appreciate that thoughtfulness!

      And I don’t think that sounds weird at all! I have told my mom, do what feels right to you right now. And it sounds like you have done that too. I am actually going to make fudge, I have decided, with my friends; it is actually what my stepdad made every Christmas, so I am going to keep up his tradition. πŸ™‚ When I really thought about what I could make, this just became so obvious to me. πŸ™‚

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  4. So many things to look forward to! This is a busy time of year, and it can be hard to balance doing all these things for and with other people and still finding time for yourself and to get done the things you need to. But I don’t think we ever regret making new memories.

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  5. Pingback: My Sunday-Monday Post – Still Life, With Cracker Crumbs..

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