Special Occasions

Nothing Better

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Candy cooking.

Is there anything better than butter and sugar melting together in a heavy pot? I don’t think so. Of course, this is subjective. Some of you are thinking that there is something better! But for me, these days, nothing is better than butter and sugar together. I love that caramel smell as cooking candy bubbles on the stovetop.

Candy and cookies and cards

This year I’m making cookies and candy for friends and family. I’m also sending out old-fashioned Christmas cards. Over the last few years we’ve received blank Christmas cards from different charities as either an incentive to give or as a thank-you for giving. The cards are gorgeous, and I have a whole heap of them. It’s great to finally send them out.

I even wrote a funny Christmas letter to include in the cards. Remember, funny, like sugar and butter, is also subjective. The letter tells about all the excitement that’s been happening around here so it’s short.

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Colour gel pens, stickers, and cards.

I’m using all the colourful gel pens that have sat lonely in a drawer for so long, and I’m sticking hoarded stickers on all the letters and all the envelopes. I don’t know why I love this so much but I do!

What is this unfamiliar feeling?

This holiday season I am happy. Sometimes when I’m working I’ll stop and notice that I’m smiling and my heart is light. There are no pressing thoughts about what to do next trying to push me out of this moment and into the next.

I’m relaxed and I’m happy. It’s hard to know if I’m content because I’m sending cards and baking, or if I’m sending cards and baking because I’m happy. Perhaps it’s the eggnog. Who knows? It doesn’t matter why.

The point is that it’s fun to have time to spend creating homemade gifts. It’s good for my soul.

Sure, I’m finishing up my editing program and have a big project to tackle, but that’s okay. I’ve got time to do it, and that’s a really nice feeling.

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A tree on a December evening.

Memories of busyness

I do miss (a bit) the merriment of elementary school at Christmastime. Kids are so much fun at this time of year because their wonder and excitement are infectious. Their shining eyes remind me of my own childhood Christmases.

But as an elementary schoolteacher there is always a frantic dash up to the finish line of Christmas holidays. (I can’t see you, but I can almost feel all you former and current teachers of young students nodding in agreement. Some of you are still mildly traumatized.)

The classroom is merry in December, but it is hectic. Hectic merriment.

While teaching, I entered Christmas vacation like a zombie, numb and disengaged, but with no appetite for anything, let alone brains. When you give it all, there’s nothing left to give. You need a chance to refuel.

That’s the working world and that’s just how life was while I was teaching. I was busy! Like any job or profession, teaching has its perks and its drawbacks. Mostly, I remember the good things, and there were lots of good things.

That being said, it’s a joy this year to be joyful as I prepare for Christmas. It’s wonderful to have the time to take my time.

Seasons

Life has its seasons, I know. There will be busy times again and maybe even soon. But for now and for this season, I’ll bask in the calm contentment, and wish for you, dear reader, this same pleasure. There’s nothing better.

 

 

 

 

7 replies »

  1. I know that feeling of being so drained at holiday time after working so hard at your job. Working from home is still hectic at times, but there is still the freedom of being able to sleep in or do personal stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “But as an elementary schoolteacher there is always a frantic dash up to the finish line of Christmas holidays.”
    Oh yes, I do recall this mad dash. We celebrated its conclusion and the onset of the holidays by making the last day before break “pajama day.” Everyone brought blankets and a pillow and wore their pajamas. All we did all day was read (and be read to by me) and sing and draw. It was great.

    Alas, we are also twins about the baking, Christmas letter and cards. I started my bake-a-thon about 32 years ago, Each year features 5 kinds of cookies and 2 kinds of fudge. I make up about 10-12 tins and send them all out to friends from New York to California. What I love is that it’s 3 days of giving myself permission to focus on this one fun, creative thing–no other “have-tos”–and I play reams and reams of Christmas music. It’s great. I hope you have as much fun as I always do.

    Got our tree today, so bring it on!

    Liked by 1 person

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