Appreciating the Season

The way I feel this holiday season likely isn't drastically different than I've felt in the past, but the older I get, the more I notice myself appreciating the season. You know, that special feeling you have just walking around doing errands, feeling the brisk air on your face, planning meals or dishes for family and friend gatherings.

When I'm out and about or going for a run in the cold, I feel especially thankful to be able to jump in a car or come home to a warm house, something I know not everyone is as lucky enough to do. I wish that every month, week, day of the year I could feel as lucky. So lately, I've been thinking about how I might be able to extend this feeling of thankfulness throughout the year.

Ice trees from my run on Sunday - a balmy 27F!

Right now, I've been thinking of it as a gift just to be able to get together with friends and family. In fact, if it were up to me, I'd like to seriously rethink the gift giving situation. I find that gift giving feels very stressful because I never know what people really want or need and therefore get overwhelmed trying to find gifts that people will truly use and appreciate.

One of my biggest pet peeves is letting something go to waste and I surely wouldn't want to give something that is just going to sit on someone's shelf or get tossed in a donation pile. Anyway, that's all to say that I like in theory the idea of gifting, but not how it actually plays out.

But I hopped on here today to talk about the Christmas spirit I've been feeling and hope you are feeling a bit of that too. Even as an adult, the magic of Christmas still holds true.

A few of my favorite things this time of year: Sitting by a twinkling tree, cuddling up with a hot mug of tea or cider and watching a holiday movie (Christmas Vacation, Grumpy Old Men, Love Actually), reading the Polar Express, baking cookies, the anticipation of Christmas Eve & opening stockings.

I really enjoyed this post from Cup of Jo about holiday rituals. I spent a good 10-15 minutes reading through the comments of what others do on Christmas/Christmas Eve. So many fun traditions.

What are you doing for Christmas Eve or Christmas Day? Is there a specific meal or food you eat for either day? Some of our friends here in Eugene go snowshoeing and I love that idea!

Happy Holidays and I hope you're staying warm and healthy! 


Your house looks so cute and charming - I love your fireplace! I wish we had one but we are the only house on our block that doesn't! Our house did have one at one point (which makes sense since it was built in 1915!) but it got taken out in one of the renovations.

I feel like I haven't really 'enjoyed' the holiday season as much this year as it's been so hectic between traveling to Spain, 2 work trips, and jumping right into wedding planning (which we had to do since we are getting married in May!). Now that the church and venue are booked, though, we are relaxing and will soak up time with families and the excitement of being a newly engaged couple.

I cut way back on gifts this year. I usually get a book for every niece and nephew but this year I just got something for my Godson. And for our parents, us kids went together and sponsored a needy family. We still got my parents something so they will have something to open, but I feel really good about the decision to sponsor a family (which is what my parents encouraged us to do last year). The family's gift list only included warm clothes for winter (coats, boats, snow pants). It kind of made me sad to see that they didn't ask for anything 'fun'. Makes me realize how spoiled I've been to have a wishlist that isn't essential things like warm clothes. :(

The bigger day of celebration in my family is Christmas Eve. We got to mass at 4 pm as a family then come home and make a big dinner tonight. This year we are making paella! Then we watch this video that we made in 1987 which is a reenactment of the Christmas story. That's something all my Dotzenrod cousins did as a gift to my grandparents. I was almost 7 when it was filmed so am so young! After that we open gifts and we only do one at a time. We do the kids first since they are so excited to open gifts. Then the adults open gifts. That works well as it's a bit more relaxing as the kids are usually playing with new things they got.

Have a Merry Christmas!!
sanju sharma said…
every season has its own flavour. I like all but favorite is spring..
Amber said…
It felt SO GOOD to "skip Christmas" this year. All of the gift giving is just over the top in my opinion and since moving closer to home we see our families all the time now anyways. I love the feeling / idea of the season but definitely hate how materialistic it has become.

Popular Posts