This isn’t the easiest time of the year, and if your regular life is piled up with distractions, the Christmas season can send you right over the edge. I know because I often have overreaching expectations of myself.
As a freelance writer, I have deadlines. All writers do, even if they are self-imposed. I’m also a mother and wife, which is my most important vocation. Today, one child is lying on the sofa sick. Another is at school, but also planning a ski trip for part of the holidays with friends, and I need to finalize her class reservation and ski rental, along with lift tickets. I’m excited for her to have this opportunity, and yet the details of pulling it together make me a bit nuts.
I am so not a detail person.
Then, there’s the lure of the Internet, that constant noise in the background of all of our lives. For a writer, turning much of it off while we’re trying to write is a good idea. Although Pages isn’t my favorite software–sorry Apple, I cut my teeth on WordPerfect and later Word–you can set Pages and other writing apps like WriteRoom to drown out the visual noise. I do like that feature.
I find all chatter, especially negativity, saps my creativity, and pretty soon I’m drowning in a sea of words.
So, when I feel this way, I call a friend for a play date. Helen Weis and I were mulling over our dissatisfaction with how society chooses to celebrate the holidays. If you’ve seen the commercials lately, you know they are pretty noisy and filled with buy, buy, buy. I told Helen I’d found a beautiful wreath for my door. It happens to be a P. Allen Smith wreath from my local Lowe’s. I bought it because I love the burlap and the brown ribbon. I’m into brown for Christmas this year. It’s warm and cozy like hot chocolate.
Helen gave me the antique milk can last Christmas. It usually resides indoors, but today, I thought it went so well with the wreath that I pulled it outside. Oooh, now I wish my containers were copper colored. Where is that paint?
Just pondering all of this has energized and refreshed me. I wonder if that’s how Steve Jobs and his happy crew of pirates felt when they came up with something wonderful and creative. I think so.
Pinterest is one of my best tools to spark creativity. On one person’s board I saw ice skates hanging as a door swag, and I thought they were super cool. Then, strolling around an antique store, I saw a pair of vintage skates for $20. I bought them, and attached them to a wood sled we already have.
Decorating with a few new things:
- a wreath for $24.98
- a pair of vintage ice skates $20
- ribbon for $10
- a sled borrowed from my kids
- a milk can beautifully wrapped in ribbon from my friend
- two camellia shrubs, $30 each (I think)
- Kale and ivy.
Unless we have a horrible winter, these decorations will last way past the Christmas season. They can be part of the blessed silence which comes after the big day. Quite invigorating, don’t you think?