Notes From December 2022 …

In the Sky Today…

Sunday… the Day of the Sun. The Moon enters Leo this afternoon, this Day 19 of the Lunar calendar, as we begin Krishna Chaturthim.

Focusing on Home, Self-Care, and Family

I love holiday times – the food, the family, the gatherings (or time away from people – as the need dictates). I love the changing seasons, the way people feel more energized, and the air feels electric. But there is no doubt that holidays can bring on unnecessary stress, anxiety, and other negative emotions.

Over the past few years, family health crises and COVID pandemics have helped my family rethink our holiday approach. My husband suffered from end-stage congestive heart failure from 2016 until receiving a heart transplant in January 2020. We just did not have the energy to spend thinking about holidays – we were so focused on just making it to the next day. Then, we had to stay away from others to protect my husband’s newly gained health after the transplant. Shortly after, we all became shut-in, masked, and socially isolated. We had our holiday “gathering” over Zoom that year.

This is the first year we are in some kind of space to entertain thoughts of holiday merriment. Fortunately, our years of not holiday-ing taught us that the most important parts of the holidays have nothing to do with shopping (or even gifting), attire, or decorations. We discovered that the best part of holidays involved gathering together, enjoying laughs that hurt your belly, opening a new adult beverage bottle, passing plates of our favorite foods, and eating from our fanciest dishes. In short, crises taught us that simpler is simply better.

Last week, the highlights included the following fun:

  • Decorating the house with holiday lights (no tree – too many nutty cats!), candles, and incense holders;
  • Making good food with abundant harvests of butternut squash, potatoes, and strawberries;
  • Digging the last of the potato harvest with my eldest and his wife;
  • Planning holiday festivities at school;
  • Making my own tinted moisturizer;
  • Finishing my fall graduate courses – freeing up time for family activities.

Recipes You’ll Love…

The Easy Fresh Strawberry Pie also has a few blueberries in it. Both fruits were from my Misfit Foods box and reminded me of summertime… for the triple batch of butternut squash bread, I used roasted butternut squash puree that I made from squashes in my farm share in October, roasted, mashed, and frozen in November.

I have used more tinted moisturizer than foundation for the past few months. There are many recipes for DIY tinted moisturizer online, depending on whether you want to use makeup products you already have or plan to make yours using natural ingredients. Here’s a simple one made with your favorite skincare products.

Holiday Preparation in Your Home

How are you preparing for the holidays? Drop a comment below.