A Quiet Christmas and Look Toward 2017

20161226_113536 Our December was hectic and overflowing with my daughter's involvement in the Nutcracker and Kirk transitioning to a new job. Last week I turned in my grades for my online humanities courses and hid my laptop. 2016 had been a year of too much technology, constant digital connection, and limited face to face interactions of the kind that sustain and renew.

Our Christmas was quiet and slow. The girls are still at an age where they are unaware of all of the toys available during the holiday shopping season. We didn't step foot in any big box stores at all in November and December, and we tend to avoid the toy aisle as a long-standing practice. It's not that we are anti-toys, but prefer to influence our kids rather than marketers.

Of course, the girls pored over the Nova Natural catalog and had a few requests. We simplified Christmas to a few categories (which may change next year), and the girls each received:

  1. something to read
  2. something to wear
  3. something to play with
  4. a family experience

Since we talked about this ahead of time, there were no tears or disappointment, and I think they both really loved everything they discovered under the tree. We also stayed on budget and didn't experience the normal holiday pressure to over-consume at the expense of our finances. Rather than focus on material things, we focused on time with family and quiet time together at home. We cooked magic muffins (our own recipe), local pastured bacon, and gluten-free sticky buns topped off with virgin mimosas (for the girls and I; Kirk had the real thing), went to church, and attended my nephew's first birthday party.

As we look forward to 2017, I am envisioning a simpler year filled with deeper connections and a continued movement toward our dreams. Part of our transitioning to a simpler life is selling our Casita as we prepare for the birth of our next baby in late spring of 2017. I'll talk more about why we're selling the Casita and if that means we're done traveling in my next post about my plans and intentions for 2017.

Hope your holidays were peaceful and a time to reflect in preparation for the coming new year!