December Goals

It's December 8th and I'm just now getting to my monthly goals.  December is such a busy month for us bc besides Christmas we have several birthdays. 

#1 - Top of my list is to slow down.  I mean realllllly slowwwww dowwwwwwn.  Some days I feel I'm torn in a million directions and seriously I hate that feeling.  If I must sit down, close my eyes and just breathe for 2 minutes that is what I'll do because it's not pretty around here if I'm a wreck.

#2 - Is it too late to put a gift guide together?  Probably but I may squeeze one out over this weekend.

#3 - Decorate.  Omg, Instagram is full of gorgeous home decor and I have not done one single thing to Christmas this place up.  I know there are those of you who adore Christmas.  Would you please come over and decorate my house?!

#4 - Try to stay out of stores until after the holidays.  Is it just me or have the stores been nuts since before Thanksgiving.  The lines are so long and there is a frenzy in the air.  Isn't this supposed to be a peaceful time of year?

#5 - Through all this remember that the holidays are a highly charged time of year for me.  So many expectations and comparing.  I must check myself daily and not get sucked into society's idea of a perfect family/home/holiday/etc.

Do share your goals in the comments bc I love reading them.



  1. Our little town is very small so I have made every effort to shop local. Big box stores, the convenience of shopping on line, and a recent freeway bypass have made it very difficult for them to stay in business but there's just something about opening a door, hear a bell, and the shop clerk say things like "Hi, Gail!" "Let me know if I can help." or "Would you like that wrapped while you browse the store?" I also enjoy craft sales made up of local artists with their one-of-a-kind beauties....even a $10 handmade apron is special when made by a friend or a friend-of-a-friend...we're all members of this caring community.

  2. December the 26th is the birthday of my twins-Boxing Day kids lol. They are adults now, but still my "babies," so a birthday box gets sent along with Christmas stuff wherever they are living. ( I do all that planning/shopping in November) Right now son is close by here in San Diego and daughter is in Connecticut.

    As a teacher I have HEAPS going on in my classroom ( cards and pressies for parents, etc)so my December goals are usually just to write my cards and decorate.

    As my hubby and I embrace a more minimal lifestyle, our decor has really simplified-some house lights in blue, a few lanterns on the steps, a pretty wreath outside and some fresh boughs and roping inside with some older/sentimental ornaments and candles. Maybe once I have grandkids I'll put up a tree again, but for now it's not a necessity. I have learned that no matter what you do decor wise, Dec 25 will come along anyway, LOL.

    We bough a 1950s fixer-upper in August and our house goal for DEC is to renovate the bathroom over the two week Christmas break. Wish us luck!

    BTW I LOVE LOVE LOVE your closet-that speaks to my uber-organized no-clutter self in many, many ways. Our closet right now is a great size but has NO doors on it! Last people here thought it was cool to just have it all OPEN. Um, no.
    So, closet doors are on our master goal list as well...along with a bazillion other things.

    Happy December!

  3. You are wise to plan to slow down as the frenzy at this time of year contributes to stress...we returned from the cottage where we were totally relaxed and I could feel the energy shift dramatically when we retuned home.

    We have a green wreath on our front door, some boughs and red berries in a pot on the porch.The outdoor lights are up and a small faux tree in the kitchen with mini lights on it...we plan to put up our tree in the living room this weekend...a few candles will be added and that is about all we will do.
    Keeping things simple really reduces my stress...having few expectations works for me too!

  4. I've thought a good bit about the Holidays lately. How they make me feel out of sync with the rest of the world. Everyone scurrying around and I really despise that. I love a laid back mellow kind of Christmas. Very few gifts are necessary ...what is wonderfully necessary for me is gratitude. I'm so very grateful for what I have and who I have in my life. My family, my friends....our health. I hope this next year finds me simplifying, downsizing and NOT comparing even more!! How freeing it is to let go of "things" and concentrate on others - Merry Christmas to you and yours!!

  5. The Christmas shopping frenzy is really bizarre to observe from the other side of the counter. I worked retail back in college and witnessed some pretty wacky behavior. I worked in junior wear on the second floor of a department store; every year we literally braced ourselves for the onslaught every morning. At opening, you could hear the throng of people literally running through the front door and up the escalator. We could feel the wave of frantic energy coming toward us.

    Fast forward, my husband and I are enjoying a quiet holiday season, feeling grateful. Our simple decorations are up. Our first-time-in-years gifts (via yours truly) are under the tree and in someone's stocking. Peaceful Christmas music can be heard (I'm thoroughly enjoying and recommend Tudor Christmas Castle on Amazon Prime). Plans are in place for Christmas dinner.

    We are also praying for the frightening fires in Ventura and LA to stop. We know people in the area and worry for them all. A friend of ours has colleagues and friends who have lost their homes and animals.

    We've made a concerted effort to appreciate the peace November and December are giving us before launching into the unknown of the new year. I personally am grateful for the quality time and most excellent company you and your blog offers, Janet. Thank you so very much.

    Happy Holidays to all, Ardith

  6. This has been a most relaxing holiday. Things arent perfect..never are. But..i took a change in simplifying. House is decorated in white lights..trees..outdoor branches painted silver put in a thrifted silver can and ornaments hung sit on front porch. Baked cranberry bread..simple peels
    Cinnamon..evergreen from the yard simmer on the stove. Presents ..first time in 20 years i made lavender sachets from our garden and fabric i had. Shopped from the thrift ..all clean name brand..wrapped in pretty tissue and ribbon n paper. Reading books or rocking my grand girls by the tree.
    Looking for those who need a bit of encouragement during these days.
    I spent many a year flying store to store ect. Many ideas come from your blog! Thank you. Happy holidays❤

  7. One day at a time - and I'm not even an addict, just a little dependent. One day at a time for goals.

    And never too late for a gift guide from you Janet. You have such spectacular taste.

  8. I suppose there are benefits to living alone.
    since losing Bob I don't set any goals for myself! for the past 5 years I have given $$$ to my two nephews. it's always in a pretty little box. I am not a shopper. and they know that about me and they love me anyway! they are teenagers now and love the cash from Auntie Tam.
    as to décor... I find that tartan speaks of Christmas to me better than anything. so it shows its face and joins in rich red velvet poinsettias and greenery. and that is Christmas! sending you some of my lazy unplanned hours with love. happy egg and nog darling bean! xo

  9. My home is small too so my Christmas decorations are minimal. A small tree, snow globe and nativity. A wreath on the door and a garland and bow on the mailbox.
    I did all my shopping online except wrapping paper, etc. at the Dollar Tree.
    Slowing down sounds good!

  10. Our Christmases have always been pretty low key compared to so many people I know. I have one shelf in an armoir that I store the Christmas decorations in so that tells you how little I actually have. We've never gone crazy in the gift department. This year there's lots of gift cards because they're at that age. I remember well getting to that age also. I never go to the mall so that's not a problem. We're totally spoiled with a small downtown that is festive but a breeze to get in and out of. I thInk you live in an area that is much denser populated then here. The most work I have is family comes in and stays for 5 nights over Christmas but really they aren't demanding. I'm the one that has to remember not to over complicate thIngs. My husband and I have attended numerous beautiful Christmas concerts in our community. I'm determined to actually ENJOY the season and remember why we're even doing all this.
    Big hug. Deep breath XX
    Kathy- Kcarracher- Instagram

  11. Hi! I am so excited that I get to leave a real comment again. :) As usual, your list is perfect. This year, Christmas is going to be very quiet and simple at our house. We've had a tough year and I feel this is the time to slow down and surround ourselves with warmth, light, good food, family and friends. I'm filling each room with lots of greenery from the forests here and lots and lots of twinkling lights. I want it to be sparkly and warm. I'm also only doing what I want and saying NO to other things. It's so nice when you're comfortable saying no. Christmas in a small town is so nice, it really is simpler. Love to you this holiday! xo

  12. Your December list provides the best reminders to keep to what is essential, sincere, to the point of this glorious season. Thank you. My husband and I have enjoyed the best of times already: a choral concert at our local university, small dinners with friends, a grand child's HS band concert, shopping for a tree, gathering fresh greens . . . we are fortunate. Each of us retired now, we never will forget how it was to "manage" the holidays while working . . . keeping it simple isn't always a simple task.
    Wishing you and yours peace and joy.

  13. Hi Janet, a few months ago we had a rat infestation in our attic. I get so creeped out about it that I threw out every box-all the old Christmas stuff gone! I found just a few holiday things in the house and now limit myself to one box for Christmas. That’s it! We go out and collect greens, mossy branches, berries and pine cones. Burning candles and playing Christmas music is cosy and not as exhausting as having too much stuff laying around, even if it’s cute. I didn’t buy a single holiday decorating mag this year-all that is looking too overwrought for my evolving taste. But we like to do historic home tours and that fills the need to see and enjoy holiday decor. We try to concentrate on getting out and having fun to mark the season. And, Happy Holidays to you! Allegra

  14. Great post! Thanks for the reminders! xo

  15. Your blog ALWAYS makes me stop, pause, be still; let the words sink in and be in the moment. Thank you for what you do; sharing moments of your life and extending the invitation to "sit a spell".

  16. probably not a goal but it would be soooo nice if x-mas was about friendship, community, and not about gifts and glitter. I love the music and candles and some of the food goodies. Let's make it more simple and more just about peace and love.

  17. I am with janice - wishing Christmas was about friendship, community, and not about gifts and glitter. We are pounded daily by messages to "BUY this BUY that!" Ugh. Hate the commercial aspects of Christmas. Let's make it simpler and more just about friendship-sharing moments and peace and love.

  18. Just this weekend I was trying to jazz this house up for Christmas. I was at TJ Maxx and thinking: I don't want any of this. I remembered your Christmas decor throughout the years - a simple collection of plants, a touch of red, etc. It enabled me to leave empty-handed. Today, I'll add a few touches of green and be grateful when my credit card statement comes. :)

  19. Love this time of year because finally some time off work is on the horizon and we can clock some family time together! Work is crazy because everyone wants stuff before Christmas so that's why I do the tree the cards the gift buying and the admin way in advance. My son gets about 7 weeks holidays at Christmas and my school doesn't have vacation care so my goal is to basically ensure that he is cared for (thanks mum and dad) and happy! So many people hate this time of year but we work so hard that I am desperate for a break from the office. Thank God for compulsory office closures and public holidays . Hope my card arrives J xxxx

  20. Trying to keep things simple and natural. I cut a bunch a greens from my yard and a neighbor's (who I asked) and added them around the house with some fruit and pinecones and an ornament here and there. I will put up my tree with white lights and glass ornaments and decorate my mantel. Gifts are minimal - will make some cookies and banana bread, have bought amaryllis bulbs, and have a few books in mind. Will look over my charitable donations to make sure I haven't forgotten any through the year. I am trying to slow down, enjoy, and not overextend myself.

  21. #3! If my grown daughter didn't come and decorate it wouldn't get done. I want my home festive I just don't want to do it! I thought I was crazy. Thanks!

  22. What calming, wonderful ideas here! And “The Tudor Castle” is wonderful, Ardith.
    Don’t feel that a gift list is needed- so tired of clicky things, and you are one of the pressure- free blogs I love to read because of ideas.
    Christmas here is wonderful , always what some folks would call minimal- wreath on porch, small faux lighted tree I’ve had forever with a few treasured ornaments on a buffet, amaryllis and paperwhites. This year, because my daughter asked, I’m made tons of cookies and fudge and mailed/gave them to everybody.
    Happy Holidays!

  23. Janet,
    I love the idea of setting monthly goals. I've been listing to the food blogger pro podcasts and there was a guest that created The Five Minute Journal....goals, journals all leads to mindfulness, which is one of my goals. Isn't it your birthday this month? xx annie

  24. I bought some perfume at Macy's and the lovely girl at the counter boxed it and beautifully wrapped it for me! so all is not lost. I like shopping a little in the big stores at Christmas. It's great to see the big trees decorated and all the kids lined up to see Santa. I really miss that time with my little guys. And sometimes even in a big city wonderful holiday spirit can be found. This morning I was looking out my window here in downtown Los Angeles and a police helicopter flew by. My first thought was something bad was happening and then I saw a guy hanging out on the rails of the helicopter in a big red suit yelling "Merry Christmas" It was Santa!
    xo kelley ps so jealous of your closet!!!!

  25. to wake up an hour early to enjoy some quiet time with God and get some exercise in before the day starts. to enjoy the wee hours every day and breathe it all in before the day begins. (beautiful closet by the way and sooo worth it!)

  26. Hi Janet, I'm really late commenting's been a crazy few weeks. My FIL passed away last month. We have been tackling the house and oh, what an undertaking!! We think it is going to take at least 6 months to clear everything out. Then I sprained my foot on their stairs and THEN I got cellulitis in my foot and leg... It's been 2 weeks and is finally getting better. What the heck is up with my feet??? I can't seem to catch a break. Anyway with all this stuff happening there was no time to get a tree or put lights on the hedges this year. I have a mini tree I can bring up from storage if the mood hits me. The only hint of Christmas is Poinsettias, Amaryllis and Paperwhites and a couple wreaths. My daughter is going to have us over for Christmas so I can just focus on baking, etc. I have done 100% of my shopping on line so I haven't had to tackle crowds. I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas Janet!



kindness is never out of style.

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