Today Mama was on a mission. I'm in a bit of a race against the clock and when the clock strikes zero, gifts for out-of-town relatives need to be in the mail. Today's project to start and finish was dying play silks. We worked on yellow ones dyed with turmeric yesterday and they look fabulous - bright and bold. Today I tried using Kool-Aid mix as the dye and the colours are soft and gentle. We came home from supper tonight and were greeted by the strange scent of Kool-Aid infused vinegar. I must admit, I'm feeling a little nauseous. There are great instructions for dying play silks with Koo-Aid here.
Indeed, the pulse in our household had a "mission" vibe to it. In a good way. In a working with purpose kind of way. There were homemade snacks to make for the birds. There was an art class to be had at my kitchen table (our instructor today was Jaelyn, who tried out what I imagine wet-on-wet watercolour painting is. Self-taught, that one). There were books to be read and letters to write to Santa. There were freezer-paper stenciled shirts to be painted too.
Somewhat ironically, today's From Hectic to Harmonious challenge was to remove three things from my to-do list. Note that says remove things, not do them and scratch them off. It's about prioritizing and letting go of the stuff that doesn't matter.
Today's challenge is tough for me. I think I've already made great strides to make this year's holiday a little simpler than last year's. The number of handmades is down, and what I have made was simpler to make in the first place. There won't be a lot of Christmas baking going on here, and the holiday countdown garland hanging in our living room feels more like a way to be intentional about the activities we want to share with our children and prioritizing time to do them. So while the garland is new, the activities in it would happen anyway with or without the garland to guide us as to when they happen.
So, after much pondering, scratching my head and furrowing my brow, here is what I've come up with:
~ I will turn off Facebook until December 28
~ I will keep the computer games turned off too, until December 28
~ I will only have one errand morning or afternoon a week. All of us will need to be super-resourceful if there is some "gotta have" thing. If something is needed right now, it will need to be found within the four walls of this house. While I would love for this to apply to everything, I will be practical and reasonable...if we need milk because for some mysterious reason there is none left in the fridge, we'll go get milk. But I'm not running out at 10:00 pm to get something like, say, glitter.
~ I will, without guilt, buy premade stuff if I need to. The holidays will still be wonderful if we buy premade pie crusts instead of the ones from scratch. Or if the whole pie is premade.
And I'm pleased to report I've already had success in purging things from my to-do list. I was planning to make snow crystals inside today with Nature Club. This would have required me to pick up dry ice and Styrofoam containers, as well as get the experiment set up and, optimally, test it out. But with most of our evenings full of other goodness, which I wouldn't trade for a second, I pulled the plug on making snow crystals. Instead, we read the book, The Story of Snow and made snowflake cutouts from last year's left over printouts.
I knew there would be little nuggets of success scattered throughout this holiday challenge!