taking this year off


I don't really know exactly how it all fell together like this.

But as I grumbled over the lack of family snapshots with all six of us in the photo, a common phenomenon with teenagers I hear,  and sat far too many times looking at a computer screen trying to start my annual witty newsletter…… I just couldn't shake my scrooge. Every year I send out well over 60 newsletters/cards and make about a dozen calendars for family members. I think most of these are received into very grateful hands. But this year, I just needed quiet. I needed simple. And after taking out the coveted box of winter books and reading a favorite of mine to the kids about 14 times, I have come to this conclusion.


I am giving the gift of nothing. (translation, I am taking this year off.)

Not with my in house peeps, mind you. Just with my extended all over the place family and all our awesome friends. I will surely get a worried email from my mama after she reads this {seriously, the Gypsy newsletter is epic and everyone loves it, not to toot my own horn or anything}. I may get a call from my Great Aunt who lives in California, even though I haven't seen her in over a decade. And a few friends will drop a "hey are you guys okay" email….. And the guilt? Oh my, it's looking right at me as I begin to tape the received holiday cards around our kitchen doorway. Those happy smiling faces and newsletters are surely booting me out of the annual newsletter club….. forever. Or at least until next year.

So friends, family, please forgive me. There are high chances of the guilt winning over and you all receiving a New Years card & newsletter. But for now, I am happy to spend the evenings engrossed in elf & snowflake stories. Snuggled in a chair with my fastest growing littles who are engulfed in a blizzard of candy cane magical bliss. I can take one look at my oldest and know how fleeting this believing time is, the sweet enchantment of young ones in my house. So with heels dug firmly into the earth, pulling this busy time of year to a screeching halt, or at least trying my best to slow it down, I will spend these next weeks making hot chocolate. knitting. reading. sitting with a child in my lap beside the fire.

Being fully present in the here & now. And doing, nothing.


24 thoughts on “taking this year off

  1. I would rather you spent your evenings with my grandbabies engrossed in elf & snowflake stories, that means more to me than a Christmas letter. You’re still going to get the phone call, not just an email. 🙂


  2. I love it and must say in the legas house we have skipped parties spent less time baking and just have been enjoying the spirit. Looking forward to mass everysunday and just an all around slow moving month and I love it because our babies are growing so fast and I will have plenty of time later to rush around !!!! Thank u for helping me with my own guilt of not being a crazy Christmas time mom! And realizing snuggling with the kids reading books is alot more cozy when Ur not rushed !!!


  3. Yes, I will miss the annual newsletter & fantastic calendar. BUT, I certainly appreciate where you are coming from. Just enjoy your precious family. Time goes by so quickly.
    I get your newsletter via your Blog which I totally enjoy. And, have wonderful memories of being with my Great Grandchildren & their mommy for a week in Alaska this summer.
    Take the time & savor the moments of your fantastic family.
    Merry Christmas to ALL.


  4. awww man!!! i was totally lookin forward to your newsletter… you should make one just for me! muahahah! Im totally joking btw LOL.
    As much as i do look forward to your newsletter i completely understand you taking a break this year. Ive been taking a break from christmas for about 2 years now. I’ll buy for my family but other than that… eh! I have to force myself to even put up a tree. I might do that next weekend… idk. HOWEVER!!!! I did buy my poor little cats some christmas “costumes” lmao… EMma has a a santa hat with a giant beard and Lexi has a riendeer hat ( with antlers) and a collar with bells on it… omg i died laughin. They were not so pleased to say the least. LOL its the small things that make me giggle.
    Anyhoo, ive rambled enough on here.
    Love ya girl 🙂


  5. I think that it is wonderful to recognize where limitations are, and making sure that you are not pushing past them in this time of holiday celebration. I know that every year there is something that I have to give up, to let go of, and doing do makes the time so much more worthwhile.


  6. I think this is great :). I, too am having guilt for not doing cards again this year. But I have found that a beautiful email with pics to wish everyone well seems to make everyone just as happy (plus the paper we save!).
    So have a wonderful time relaxing and enjoying your family!!


  7. I hear ya! With our third child due right around Christmas, it seems very silly to write and send out this long newsletter. I think we will do an email again (which we did for some of our friends last year), but sometime after Christmas, after the baby is born.


  8. I am impressed you lasted this long. Dropping the letter happened awhile ago for me. I figure, if anyone cares what we are up to, they will read my blog. Not sure if that is practical or self centered.


  9. I think it feels so free to slow down and enjoy all those simple moments. And yes, those fast growing kiddies really made me realize that I just wanted to be in this moment 🙂


  10. I usually give up my time….. but this year with a four year old boy so enthralled in the magic, I realized that is just where I wanted to be. Right alongside him as he makes his dreamy magical trip through the next few days 🙂


  11. I imagine you completely understand…. I think you want nothing but to enjoy your first magical Christmas with Miss B. It is so amazing to see them light up at all the decorations and such. I just LOVE it 🙂


  12. Yes the paper, that was another issue for me. I may pull together an email…. seems so "techy" but I suppose blogging is about the same 🙂 SO many of the people I send cards to stop by here to say hello, so I suppose that counts for something!


  13. After I’ve sent two girls off to college, reading those elf and snowflake stories are treasured time for us because I know it is fleeting, time that is. I will say this though, my big girls still ask me to read them these stories when they come home. One is 21 and the other 18 and they always preface it by saying “Don’t think I’m crazy ok? but can you read us the Tomte while we drink hot chocolate?” Enjoy your moments where they are most cherised.


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