The holidays are so often a whirlwind of activity. As the crunch time of decorating, shopping, wrapping, cooking, and entertaining sets in, it is hard to step back and think in the moment what could be done differently or done better. But January is the perfect time to reflect. Not because there was anything lacking in your celebrations, but because each year you can make the holidays more your own. And in doing so, you can have more time to enjoy their meaning with family and friends, rather than burning out on last minute tasks.
January Holiday Reflections
Here, snow covers the ground and currently the windchill is at -7. My tree and all the decorations are put away, and I am enjoying the calm of deep winter, though I miss the tree lights and the warmth that the holiday decorations bring. One way to enjoy that feeling all year long is to spread some of the activities out over the twelve months of the year.
January is a great time to think about what you wish you had had the time to do this past year. For example, every year, I promise myself that I will make at least one gift each for my daughters, son-in-law, and grandson. This year got away from me, so I relied (again) on a makeshift gift of a mug, tea or cocoa and some sort of treat. Not bad, but it lacked creativity and really was not what I wanted to do.
I plan to spend some time this month picking out simple yet creative gifts that I can make this year, printing out the directions and a shopping list and starting to make them before winter is out. To stay motivated, I plan to remind myself how great I will feel next December when I have a great DIY gift for each of them!
Other great tasks for January
If you are like me and collect Christmas magazines looking for ideas, pour a hot cup of tea and spend an afternoon or evening pulling or tagging the pages of ideas you’d like to try this holiday season.
Organize your gift wrap and bows, and look for sustainable items such as cloth gift bags or scarves that can be used each year to wrap gifts.
Make gift tags by cutting up Christmas cards or hitting up a craft store for premade tags that can be decorated for each recipient.
Update your Christmas card and gift lists with any new addresses or recipients.
Organize your decorations and donate anything that you are no longer using or is just too much. This year I gave an extra tree to a friend, and a gigantic bag of ornaments to my oldest daughter, who was happy to have them for the tree in her new home. As for me, I was happy to pass them along and keep my own Christmas collection more curated and manageable.
Finally, if you can, now is a great time to order any invitations or Christmas cards for next year! You can still get a great selection and a much better price. Just remember where you put them for next December!
This January, enjoy reflecting on and peacefully planning for a more relaxed holiday season in 2022!