It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas...

Yes, I realize it is only August. And that if the humidity were any higher it would be raining (I wish!). And that I shouldn't be wishing my life away. But seriously, who doesn't love Christmas? I love planning the perfect gifts for loved ones, and decorating. and shopping, and looking at lights. I love keeping old traditions and starting new ones. I love the excitement on Avery's face at the wonder of it all. I love all those ridiculously cute little Christmas outfits that she wears twice if we're lucky. And, let's be honest, I love getting two weeks off of school.

And all of that excitement leads to weeks of stress and frenzy.

My wonderfully observant husband noted last year that I was spending so much time trying to perfect the holidays that I wasn't enjoying them at all. But I do love to decorate the house and bake and do all of those Christmasy things my mom always did when we were little, so this year I'm really going to strive to find a better balance between what the holidays are really about and the tinsel and jingle bells that remind me of that.

And that is more important now than ever. In February I suffered a grand mal seizure in my sleep. I had never had one before, and none of the many tests I had showed a possible cause for it. So I was basically told that I was fine, but that I couldn't drive for six months. Yes, one half of one year. I floundered in this, never really learning how to continue to manage my house while having to schedule things around a ride. Toward the end of my confinement I realized that I hadn't wanted to figure that out, because to do so might somehow invite that dependency to be permanent. I started driving again the first day of school...and then that Friday had another grand mal in my sleep. So now, at 28, I've been diagnosed with epilepsy. Apparently it's not that big of a deal health-wise, but I am now taking anti-epileptic drugs for the rest of my life and I'm not driving (much) again. I'm a little ticked off that I was so faithful to the no driving mandate only to have the second seizure after the six months was over. What was the point? So now I have to organize our life and find a way to have routine while learning to manage this unpredictable condition.

Enter the Holiday Grand Plan. It starts August 31st and runs for 18 weeks. All of the tasks needed to have an organized hoiday are spread out over the program, so that you can actually enjoy the time off with family and friends. Just print out all of the calendars and such and check the website weekly for the new assignment. Anyone else in?? I need someone(s) to help make sure I stick to this. My hope is that I'll be so organized this semester that I'll be able to finally host a cookie swap in December and send out Christmas cards in time for them to arrive before Christmas. That may be wishful thinking! Thanks to Belle-ah for letting us know about this great site.
Now that I've hyped up my holday home decor, I suppose I should share a few pictures. I basically decorate in bright green, dark red and silver. And before you ask, yes, matching wrapping paper is a requirement, as are trimmings that require hot glue to stay on. I add to the decorations each year as I find things that fit that color scheme. Last year I decided to add Magnolia leaves into the mix, and I think I'll do more of that. The leaves are free and plentiful! This year I may decorate our three season wrap around porch, as well.

I always switch out the pictures in the frames with ones from past Christmases. It keeps tables and walls from being too cluttered, but still allows me to show off my beautiful little girl.

We never use the dining room, but it received the most decoration.

Our prettiest tree yet, with the dining room in the background.

It took me four year to find stockings in my color scheme. So worth the wait! The fourth one is for our dog, Tucker.


Valerie said...

Oh I'm so sorry to hear about your diagnosis. Keeping you in my prayers, friend.
On to a better topic, Christmas! I love it too. I had my tree up this year in early November. While I am not as organized as you, I love love love to use bright green and dark red for decorating. I'm in search of the perfect wreath for my door this year. Any suggestions?
Oh and the cookie exchange, if you have an extra spot, I'd love to come!
Hang in there!

p.s. I'll be emailing you about the canvas... I just can't decide what I'd like to have. pinks (pale and hot), black and white-ideas? I need spunky!

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