Christmas, for me, also brings anxiety. While the Christmases of the recent past have been joyous occasions for the most part, and I try to conjure that joy, I am also reminded of past Christmases which brought stress instead of happiness, disappointment instead of gratitude. Arguments over what gifts to buy family members, duplicate gifts, spending too much money or not enough. Frustration displayed as anger over outside decorations not working or being put up to early. Drama over Christmas dinner not getting cooked enough due to a power outage or a stove malfunction, or overdone due to the unexpected arrival of a neighbour or family member. Someone’s drink invariably gets spilled or plate of food dropped on the floor. Finding a last minute gift tucked away in a closet that needs a midnight wrap job. Be being too young to understand why my parents were annoyed I was off school. A lot of “normal” things that I think most families experience, except always with seriousness. National Lampoons, without the humor.
But as I said, I am trying to remember the happy times and not dwell on the not so happy times, move onwards and upwards. And again this Christmas I am struggling to buy local, simply for logistical reasons. I have been making a lot of charitable donations for family instead of material items, as per usual.
There is one gift I am proud of, and that is a shoebox. Not just any shoebox. A shoebox given from one woman to another. A shoebox filled with personal care items and yummy treats for a woman at a local women’s shelter. A woman whom I will never meet, but that I hope can benefit from the items inside. It’s all part of The Shoebox Project. So in lieu of a large gift for my mom, I’m giving another woman a shoebox. And I know they’ll both appreciate it.
I have also been thinking about where I’m going to go with this blog. Last year brought me to a fork in the road, and I kept going. As I mentioned then, there’s still so much I want to write about, so many challenges I want to try. But now I can see an end in sight. Let’s face it – with two children now, one of which will be starting school around the same time I go back to work, at this point I can’t see how I can possibly continue. This doesn’t mean I’m going to stop being an environmentalist overnight. I am going to keep trying to keep up with the green challenges. I just won’t have time to write about them. But I know I probably will. I know myself well enough to know I need a creative outlet, and for me writing is usually that outlet.
And this blog needs some work. I was new to blogging what I started this blog, as can be seen by the layout. A number of the posts are missing references, contain grammatical errors, and could use some general “sprucing up”. I would like to take a look back to see what challenges I stuck to, which I had to let go, and tie up any lose ends with “progress updates”. This process will bring me closure, and allow me to take pride in what I have accomplished over the last two and a half-ish years.
So that will be my focus over the next few months until I go back to work. I may have the odd post if something really gets me going, and I would like to have the odd “guest post” on topics I know little about and don’t have time to research or try myself.
For those of you following my blog (and I hope you’re still out there), follow me on Twitter @mommyonthegreen to see what I’m up to. Tweet you later!
For local gift ideas check out The Local Wishlist