We made it in and out of Iowa for Thanksgiving without much hassle. It was a sad day for half the group--2 of Mr. D's siblings lost fathers-in-law in the last 4 months, the pain was still pretty fresh for those families. I'm used to this holiday being about my in-laws, but each year my husband says, just before everyone heads in to load their plates, "Where's the meat? When do we eat?" which is exactly what my grandfather said after grace before every single meal. I don't know if he understands how much I appreciate it when he quotes my grandfather.
The day after, my sister-in-law and one niece and my mother-in-law loaded into an SUV headed for the nearest shopping mall. I was glad to escape back to Wisconsin, my hands free of shopping bags.
In a side note, my MIL had one of those plug in fragrance diffusers you get at Bath & Body Works. It fell out of the wall and leaked faux vanilla scented oil all over our shoes. Consequently, my laundry room reeks of this smell, which is NOT intended to be inhaled by anyone with asthma. Oy. I cannot imagine what my MIL's kitchen smells like with that seeped into the floor.
So now it is the end of Thanksgiving, the start of Christmas. My FABULOUS bloggy friend Anne Marie over at Na-Da Farm Life summed up my feelings about the holiday very nicely in her blog today. Actually, I summed up my feelings about it pretty well, too, over at Eco Women today. I don't want to be caught up in the "buy-get-spend-shop-greed-consume" aspect of Christmas. I want to be present in the holiday, enjoying all the sounds, tastes, sights and smells. I want to sled down snow-covered hills with my sons and feel the cold on my cheeks and their arms wrapped around my neck. I want to hear my kids giggle while we watch Elf together, crunching popcorn and drinking cider. I want to smell the tree in our living room and see how many ornaments my kids can cram onto the lowest branches. I want to spend my holiday season making memories instead of going out to get stuff. I want Christmas presence--of mind, body and spirit.
But that doesn't mean I won't give presents. I just want the presents I give to be good ones, thoughtful ones, quality ones. I'm not buying someone a sweater marked 50% off just because I found a good deal. I want to give lovely things.
Anne Marie is addicted to lovely things, and her taste runs simple like mine does. For November's FABULOUS, I'm giving away the item of choice from the Na-Da Farm Etsy shop to one lucky winner. How can you win? Each comment in the comment box is an entry to win November's FABULOUS. Check out Anne Marie's blog and breathe in the serenity of nature, family, hand crafted and vintage. (And there are horses.)
Spill it, reader. Are you making your Christmas simpler, celebrating more with experiences than with stuff this year?