November and December 2019 were times of reverence in our home.

We had a deep respect and consideration for one another, and how we spent our time. We decorated and participated in holiday gatherings. We stopped while we still had energy. Which translates to our decorations were sparse but beloved, and we attended 2 delightful holiday parties.

For the first time, we did no huge meals, bought no gifts for anyone. We gave to charities, as is our tradition. Throughout the year as we found items that would delight family or friends, we wrapped and shared them immediately.

We spent each holiday in nature, meeting old and new friends. It was a rare warm December in Wisconsin, with mud instead of snow. The last weekend of the year we enjoyed the wedding of a dear friend in my hometown.

My husband and I were able to have extra days off work together. We took time for ourselves and each other. Family and friends shared time with us throughout these two months.

I smiled when talking with friends about new approaches they tried this year. One couple decided to have their adult children and grandchildren together in January instead of December for their holidays. No one had to rush from one set of family to another. When they were tired, they were able to return home to rejuvenate.

Another friend said whatever shopping was done by Thanksgiving, that was it for gifts. They had some decorations. She thoroughly enjoyed “not buying into the chaos and frenzy” this year.

May you find a balance to meet your needs for any holidays you celebrate.