Holiday Vacation And Self Care

I always hoard some Paid Time Off for the holidays. This has become an important part of my annual ritual and some sense of a self care routine.

Some years I spend a few days traveling while others keep me closer to home. This year, is not a travel year. My routine so far has been sleep in, shower and dress in clean pajamas before tackling the day. Even on Christmas Day I broke out some festive pajamas for our quiet celebration.

I did leave home yesterday to do some post holiday bargain shopping and put on my most pajama-like street clothes – a warm sweater and leggings.

Today will be cold again and I have zero interest in leaving. So I’ll dash to the bird feeders and then enjoy the view from my window (that’s the view pictured above) while I live my very best life in pjs again.

I do have plans this week- a chiropractor visit, lunch with a friend and a family dinner. I’m toying with the idea of heading to my favorite antique mall in Dayton or maybe to see a movie. I’m dying to see The Fablemans so maybe I’ll do that and hit another vendor mall closer to home.

Who knows? The point is that for once in my adult life, this vacation isn’t about exploration as much as it’s about rest and about feathering my nest.

My body has taken a lot of abuse this last year, seemingly from the inside out as my thyroid symptoms have persisted even as my blood work is improving. This is another conversation for a different day. Rest assured, I have big plans.

As much as I hate to, it’s time to start collecting all the little holiday touches around the house and freshen things up a bit. Scout is fascinated with artificial pine and I worry about the health and safety risks of having it out so it’s time to go. Not to mention, I enjoy redecorating using things I already own. It’s a fun challenge to make a room look new simply by rearranging the same stuff.

For today, it will be lots of water, de-Christmasing the house and tackling a closet and room that have been weighing heavily on my mind. I have this thing where I clean my house before vacation because I wouldn’t want to die while I’m away and leave my family with a dirty house. This dumb room needs attention for the very same reason.

Yes, I know I sound crazy. That’s part of my charm.

That’s the thing about self care. It isn’t always bubble baths and gratitude journaling. Sometimes it’s cleaning out that sock drawer that no longer closes or taking time to do meal prep to ease weeknight dinners.

For me, this week’s self care will include water and rest and maybe a few fun things. It’s also going to be getting the house in order. It won’t take that long if I just settle down and do it.

And I’m darn grateful that my collection of pajamas is so extensive that I have plenty to choose from this week!

Merry Christmas!

From our home to yours, Scout and I wish you a very Merry Christmas! I feel so fortunate to have a warm home, family, plenty to eat and presents for all.

Not to mention, it’s the white Christmas I have been dreaming of all year long!

For some reason, Scout became fascinated with the angel atop the travel tree last night. He just stared at her for a long time, never actually bothering her and I’m grateful for that too!

So many of my friends are having troubles though. Family deaths, illness and travel cancellations Christmas have plagued this holiday. I’m sure many people who procrastinated or who simply had to wait for payday struggled this weekend with all the weather related store closures and road issues.

It’s a hard season for many without adding in illness and a massive weather event.

Meanwhile, Scout and I are all warm and cozy and the tree is still standing! It’s a Christmas miracle. Wherever you are, I hope you are safe and warm too. Merry Christmas!

In Pictures: Christmas In New York

Seeing New York City all dolled up for Christmas was a bucket list item for me and the city didn’t disappoint. There are signs of the holiday everywhere you look!

There are lights everywhere.

The windows in all the fancy Fifth Avenue stores are elaborately decorated

Here’s another.

There’s a reason why the light show at Saks Fifth Avenue draws a crowd. It is incredible.

The Peninsula, a five star hotel, is beautiful lit up outside but I’ve heard it’s even more so inside. Wonder if they let the riff raff come in to look around?

Probably not.

St. Patrick’s Cathedral is magnificent any day of the week but unforgettable during the Christmas season. Tourists are allowed to stand in the back during a service so I was able to walk around some to enjoy the atmosphere. Even with so many people milling about it felt sacred.

And, of course, grandest Christmas decoration of all- the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree!

Everyone should be so fortunate to check off such a fun and festive destination from their bucket list!

The Best Part

Perhaps the best part of the Christmas season is when you realize you’re done with preparations. Shopping, decorating and wrapping are all done. The house is clean enough and I baked some cookies yesterday.

My feet are sore from being on them too much yesterday but I’m grateful to be done.

After the last cookie was packed up, dishes put away and the floor was mopped, I curled up on the couch to watch a documentary about Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz.

If you want to know why I had to mop the floor after baking, this video accurately depicts what goes on in my kitchen on baking day.

It had to be done.

As we anticipate inclement weather, I worry about loss of electricity but am eager for a quiet day at home to rest and do some chores. It will be more fun with heat and lights so here’s hoping!

Regardless, Scout is thrilled to be home together and he doesn’t care about much else. He’s a smart boy!

After all, we are fortunate. I have friends whose travel plans were cancelled and others who are sequestered with Covid. They all will spend Christmas without their families

I’m grateful to be where I am, to be done with the holiday work and to be able to relax today

Happy Christmas Eve Eve!

Maple Street United Methodist Church

Maple Street United Methodist Church is a prominent fixture just beyond downtown Lancaster, Ohio. I always enjoy a look-see when in the neighborhood but it’s especially nice at Christmas.

As lovely as it is to adventure and see new things, it’s equally marvelous to see the same landmarks change with the seasons. This one didn’t disappoint!

Franklin Park Conservatory Aglow

Friday night found me shivering in the cold outside at Franklin Park Conservatory. I was there with friends to look at the pretty Christmas lights.

It’s called Conservatory Aglow and features thousands of lights throughout the property. You enter through the wonderful rainbow tunnel above.

Then you can meander through lights, through a giant model railroad and even step inside a gingerbread house.

This tree is made with hand blown glass balls.

There is one area inside that’s nicely decorated too. I really wish they did more inside but this was all lovely.

You can warm up by walking through a gingerbread competition and enjoy the rest of the Conservatory which is filled with interesting plants and Dale Chihuly glass art.

It was freezing cold and there were snow flurries in the air, making it even more festive. It was a great night to be out with friends! This spot was my favorite both because it’s pretty and because they play classical music here. It’s like an oasis where you just might meet the man in the moon.

Want to see more pictures? Check out the Make The Journey Fun Facebook page! Plus, it’s not too late to visit this year! Click here to visit the Conservatory online.