A Simple Christmas – Getting Festive

Winter trees photograph - Elviage Pearl

Winter trees photograph - Elviage Pearl

Elviage Pearl, Winter Landscape Photography

This is the time of year that I feel like an outsider among my family and friends. Everyone’s caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holidays while we’re spending lots of time relaxing together. That is, when we’re not busy packing up and shipping out print orders. We’ve been slowly stripping away the layers of Christmas and making it what we need it to be – simple, quiet, and filled with good food and good company. So we’ve put together a 7 post series about how we spend our holiday season, and maybe you’ll share with us your tips for a merrier Christmas too.

Here’s an outline of what we’ll be posting and as we write them I’ll update the links here so you can access them easy-peasy:

ALL SIMPLE CHRISTMAS POSTS

I love the magic of community holiday events and there are at least two that we make sure to attend every year – our local Santa Claus parade and the lighting of the downtown lights. We whip up some hot chocolate, bundle into our winter woolies, and head downtown with the masses to watch the floats go by and listen to the marching bands of the night parade. And we often end up at one of our favourite watering holes for a cup of good cheer. The perfect way to kick off the holiday season.

A few weeks later we’re off to the official lighting of the lights in Victoria Park. We fill our bellies with warm stew, don our long johns and parkas, and plant ourselves in the middle of the park, just in time for the trees to light up all around us. It’s like being a kid again! I smile from ear to ear as we walk through all the sparkling trees along with hundreds of other Londoners out to celebrate the beauty of the season. Sometimes we’ll even take the elevator up the roof of city hall for an extra special view of the park done up in it’s Christmas best.

We also make a point of staying in and watching a few Christmas movies. A Merry Muppet Christmas and Elf top the list mixed with a few classics like Rudolph. A simple way to relax but still part of the season’s festivities.

In the last couple of weeks before Christmas proper we ALWAYS go on a Christmas light drive. I love the twinkle and sparkle and the over the top creativity people bust out for the holiday season, it’s one of my favourite rituals. We’ll ask around on social media for the most beautiful and the most gaudy houses, make ourselves a little map, and trek out into the night to be wowed and amazed.

The Result – We’ve made our Christmas traditions to be low key, cost nothing, build memories, and revolve around spending time together as a family.

Make it Your Own – Think about the simple things that really get you into the Christmas spirit and focus your energy on them. Maybe it’s church events, pageants, baking cookies, listening to Christmas music, or volunteering at a local charity. Make these things a priority to keep you feeling festive.

What are the simple things you do to get into the holiday spirit? Do you have rituals you stick to every year? Or are you always on the lookout for something new?

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