From the Market — Time to simplify Christmas

I woke up yesterday morning with the dawning realization that Christmas was only days away! As I left home for another frantic day, Joe heard me muttering once again about how I long to live in a secluded cabin in the woods where Christmas could be spent in quiet contemplation. It’s a fantasy of mine which never fails to bring me a few moments of pleasure before reality comes flooding back. One hard look at my list sends me into pruning mode.

The truth is this, we expect far too much of ourselves. Finding the perfect gift, having the decorations and tree look perfect, cooking the perfect Christmas dinner — if it leaves your nerves feeling jangled rather than jingled with joy, then it must be time to simplify. My Uncle Alan loved Christmas more than any other time of year. Which seems at odds with his quite non-traditional lifestyle, an understatement of massive proportions. Uncle Alan was the first one to request Christmas Carols sung around the piano as soon as Thanksgiving dinner was over. His favorite Christmas Carol was The Twelve Days of Christmas. After yet another Hot Buttered Rum, I’m pretty sure that the neighbors down the street could clearly hear him tonelessly bellowing out all 12 verses at the top of his lungs. He read Charles Dickens’ classic, “A Christmas Carol” so often that he became a bit obsessed with experiencing hot chestnuts and a roast goose.

Living