Posted by: devonellington | December 13, 2021

Mon. Dec. 13, 2021: Remember Joy

image courtesy of Jill Wellington via

We’re in the stressful part of the year, leading up to the winter holidays. We expect a lot from ourselves; we expect to have certain needs met from others.

Between all the “have-tos” on the list, we often forget the “want tos.”

What kind of holiday season do you want to craft?

After each year, we often say, “Well, I don’t want to be under that kind of stress again” but we forget in the interim.

So many experts talk about planning for the holiday all year, or doing all one’s shopping in the summer, or whatever. If that works for you, great. If it means you are imbued with the holiday spirit all year, even better.

But I like to focus on the season at hand.

I got the overseas cards and packages out before Thanksgiving this year, and the domestic cards and packages out in early December. It was a little earlier than I planned, but still within the season. It felt good, because so much else is coming at me with the speed of an out-of-control train, that it’s good to have it done. Plus, not everyone has our new address, so getting our cards out early means they don’t have to stress if the cards cross, and they sent it to the old address.

I’m behind where I’d like to be on the baking, but I’m digging in this week, and spreading it out over several days, instead of doing a baking marathon over the weekend.

We’re in a new space, so we’re figuring out how to decorate. It’s fun, seeing the ornaments and pieces that tell the history of our lives in a new space. But it takes more time than usual.

Because we’re still in a pandemic, in addition to being new in this area and not knowing many people, I don’t have to worry about the stress of holiday parties and networking events. For an introvert like me, even when I end up having a good time at these bashes, they are still stressful. And the older I get, the more recovery time I need.

This is our first winter holiday season in a new place, after a decade in our previous place. We want to start our tenure here by integrating traditions we love with new rituals that make this space special.

Take the time to consider:

–what traditions give you joy, and how will you practice them this year?

–what traditions do not give you joy, and can you release them this year?

–is there something that matters deeply to someone close to you that you’re not all that fond of, but you are willing to practice that tradition with them out of love and respect? (not martyrdom).

–who can you include in your traditions (safely, we’re still in a pandemic), who might also take joy in the process of sharing?

–what period of rest and renewal will you build into this season?

–remember that “no” is a complete sentence. If you choose to say “no” to something, you do not need to give a further explanation. Likewise, if someone chooses to say “no” to you, they are not required to expand on it.

It doesn’t all happen at once, but asking yourself the questions and finding answers will help the season be calmer and more joyful.

Traditions matter, but integrating them and letting them evolve into something unique and beautiful that matters in your life can make them even more meaningful.

Have a wonderful holiday season, and I’ll see you back here in January to discuss our goals, dreams, and resolutions for 2022!


  1. […] Resolutions blog, I have questions to ask yourself as you prepare for 2022. I also have a post on remembering the joy of the season, and re-shaping your traditions so they have meaning to your […]

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