simple

I had a eureka moment this summer.  Actually that’s a lie, it was more of an aaaaaaaaaah realisation moment.  One of those moments when stuff that has always seemed a bit out of kilter suddenly makes perfect sense.

I have always thought of myself as an autumn/winter person.  The kind of person who loves snuggling up by the fire with the dogs and a good book; crispy winter walks; big rambunctious winter casseroles.  And indeed, I do love all those things.  But I love warmth and sunshine and long summer days more.

Perhaps because of our wonderful summer this year, following the dreadful excuse for a summer we had last year I have been outside much more.  The garden has been more productive and the foraging has been superb.  It’s been wonderful.  I don’t want it to end, I don’t really want winter and darkness.  I want the light to last.

I tried to cheer myself up with the prospect of Christmas.  And that is when I began to panic.  I have always gone full pelt at Christmas.  Not necessarily spending money but  in making, baking, preparing, decorating, gathering.

I don’t want to do that this year.  Having spent all this time taking things out of our house I do not want to bring any back in.  But that’s not all there is to it.  It isn’t just a question of things or stuff it’s a question of attitude.

I want simple.  I want a simple Christmas. Simple decorations, simple food, simple celebrations.  It doesn’t make them any the less valued or special but the thought of a heavily decorated house and a freezer full of meals that will probably still be there in January makes me feel just a little bit ill.

I can’t stop the present fest on my own.  The Boss and I tend to give each other things we need.  Last year we both unwittingly gave each other saltpetre for preserving and smoked salt which we both love.  Not perhaps the most traditional of presents but it made us laugh that we had both been thinking along identical lines.  Or we give days out.  That’s how I got to spend a weekend at Taste The Wild and a fabulous overnight at The Crab and Lobster.  But I can wear the present fest down.  I can do simple.

8 thoughts on “simple

  1. I totally agree. I used to love Christmas but I feel like in the last few years is got out of hand.
    Last year we adopted a 4 present policy. Something you want. Something you need. Something to wear. Something to read

    That actually worked really well and the kids loved it.

    This year I need to simplify Christmas food. I buy far too much. A lot gets wasted. It takes over the whole day preparing it.
    I’m seriously thinking about going to the pub for Christmas dinner.
    Of course we’d still need nibbles but hopefully we actually get time to sit and nibble them.

    • Utterly brilliant idea I love it! I think we will try that this year. Absolutely agree on the nibbles. I make all these lovely bites and then nobody eats them because we are all too stuffed from all the big meals.

  2. Well said! I gave up sending out holiday cards years ago because I realized that it was only adding to my to-do list at an already-too-busy time of the year, and was zapping joy out of the season (no pun intended). What a difference that made! And I’m totally with you on the gifts, or course. “Less” and “simpler” are keys to the holiday enjoyment–year-round, actually!

  3. Good for you. I love Christmas too but it is too commercial. I do make my own gifts and hubby and I give each other useful gifts that we want/ need. Last year I got 4 chooks and a chook house! For my birthday I got 2 fruit trees. I think I’ll ask for Stephanie Alexander’s kitchen companion cooking book this year. Happy simple Christmas. Oh and this year I’m going to buy a pine nut tree as my Christmas tree! so we’ll use it as a Christmas tree for a few years then plant it in the garden then get pinenuts (fingers crossed) yummy edible Christmas tree. Mx

  4. Each year lately I have done less and less at Christmas – less cards, less baking, less visiting. In part it has been because of increased responsibilities in other areas. In preparing to move my daughter went through 3 large bags in her bedroom. Each were from a Christmas and full of gifts of stuff she will never use and never wanted. How many soap gift sets can a girl get? It lead to a conversation about seriously asking everyone this Christmas to scale back and, boring as it may be, consider gift cards rather than unwanted presents….

    • I’ve been sending a lot of vouchers for presents this year, anything from a smart restaurant to a foraging course. Groupon and Living Social have been great, and for US family I used Gilt something.

  5. I love the idea of a simple Christmas too. We are hosting a family event a week before Christmas, and look forward to a relaxed, chilled and comfortable time. But I know there will be undue pressure from others to make it a stressful occasions. I just generally feel you don’t have to stress.

    • I have started planning decorations and so forth now so that I am prepared and cannot be pressurised into doing more than I want.