First things first today: big, heartfelt thanks to everyone who ordered something from my shop the past 4 days during my Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale. I'm crazy grateful! Most orders shipped out yesterday, and a handful will also be going out today and tomorrow. I love knowing that so many of you will be gifting my colorful artwork this year -- I hope it brings many smiles to many faces. I am so lucky to get to do what I do each day-- thank you thank you, truly.
It's turning into Christmas around here these days. Anika was nervous when we pulled out the bin of Christmas stuff last night (it was underneath a suitcase, and every time she sees a suitcase, she knows it means she and Juneau are going to be home alone for a few days...), but she quickly recovered when she realized no suitcases were coming upstairs with us; only Christmas decorations!
We spent the evening listening to The Nutcracker and decorating the tree. Ryan and I started a tradition years ago of getting each other a new ornament every year. I love pulling out the ornaments each Christmas and remembering who gifted which ornament to the other! This is one that I gave to Ryan early on in our relationship:
It's my favorite Christmas ornament of all time -- Santa hanging from the moon! Back in those days, I had no idea about things like licensing art or product design; I'd love to know who designed this ornament, the company who manufactured it, etc. The store where I bought it in Boulder sadly doesn't even exist anymore, so I can't even call and ask them.
I've got to find the perfect ornament for Ryan this year.
When I first started my little business, in my early 20s, I used to take most of the month of December off. I would make gifts, make cards, make treats, read books, get inspired..... then I was refreshed and ready to get back to work in January.
It's not like that so much anymore, and it certainly won't be this year as I've got a big task ahead of me that needs to be finished before January (I'm signing on with a showroom! Which means samples galore and lots of organization within my business. 2014 is all about moving to the next level for me.)
These days I tend to take a few days off at the end of the year, to plan, review, dream, and think about what's to come in the new year. That's the time I usually revise my Goal & Intention Kit
for the coming year, too, but this year I am super-organized and have already done it! I'll be releasing the 2014 version tomorrow
I'd like to spend more time this year doing fun and festive activities, resting, enjoying the season. It's interesting the way that life changes over time -- as a young 20-something without any real financial responsibilities yet, I found plenty of time to rest and play, and I didn't compare or second-guess myself so much. Now, as a woman in my early 30s, there are such different pressures, and such different voices in my head begging for attention. There is so much to do, and so much that I want to do, that sometimes I don't even know where to begin. It seems to all come down to being intentional and listening to myself, in order to enjoy the season (and enjoy life in general, for that matter!) in a way that feels good and right for me. It's a matter of deciding what's important to me this time of year, and what's going to make me feel good. Happy. Generous. Fulfilled.
I often think about what Gretchen Rubin says about "Being Gretchen" in The Happiness Project
. She talks about how other people like to travel and be far from home and go on adventures, and she looks at these exciting lives and thinks she should be doing those things, too, but when it comes down to it, she doesn't like it. And that's perfectly ok.
I can relate to that in a big way. I often look at what others are doing, or the way I perceive that others are living their lives by what they choose to share/show online, and I think that's what I should be doing or how I should be living.
When really, all I need to remember is to "Be Jessica".
It's as simple as that. Remembering to "Be Jessica" will lead me straight into my own perfect enjoyment of the holiday season, whether that means taking a month off, or a few days off, or no time at all. Listening to what's calling to me in the moment is the key. I can choose to Be Jessica newly each moment. And when I stray, I can choose again.
Each moment gives us the gift of a choice. What a miracle that is!
I put a few of my hand-painted Christmas ornaments
on the tree last night, and I'm love with how they look in the greenery and lights. So pretty! You can get your own right here
. What a fun way to start your own ornament-giving tradition, don't you think?
What are your favorite holiday traditions?