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2015 Beaver Moon: Make Ready For The Big Chill
The holidays are upon us! Autumn is giving way and Winter begins to stir – Nature’s beauty and wonder is all around us!
It also an incredibly busy time of year with very definite deadlines: Thanksgiving, 11/26/15; Hanukkah 12/07-14/15; Yule 12/21/15; Christmas Eve, 12/24/15; Christmas Day, 12/25/15; New Year’s Eve, 12/31/15; New Year’s Day, 01/01/16*. For most of us, holiday deadlines almost always mean the same thing – a great deal of last minute running around in a near panic. Do you have all the ingredients? Are the presents wrapped? Did the invitations go out? Where are all the serving spoons?
And let us not forget the perennial favorite, “Never again! This is the last time! We are not doing this next year!!” (Uh-huh.Yeah. Sure you’re not. Good luck with that.)
The reading above makes a very valuable suggestion towards making the holidays a little less frantic and a little more magical; first order of business,attend to the mundane. In many places (such as my home, Chicago), Winter lacks subtlety and Autumn can end quite abruptly – right now, everything is lovely and fun as the seasons change gradually with cooling weather and warming colors – and it is very important to prepare for the less hospitable weather.
- Be prepared: If you have not already completed the “winterizing” of your home and car, this is the time to get it wrapped up! Take your car in for service, have the furnace checked, build your emergency kit (candles, radio, batteries, granola/protein bars, bottled water, etc).
- Bundle up: Make sure everyone has their winter-wear; gloves/mittens, scarves, hats, boots, etc. I purchase several pairs of gloves before the season gets going because I know random gloves will run away from home when no one is looking. NOTE: These items are often given as Holiday Presents (nothing wrong with that!) but consider giving the present early – the warmth of the gesture is built right in!
- Snuggle up: Check on the bedding. Are there plenty of clean sheets and fresh blankets? Take inventory and be sure every bedroom has what it needs to keep warm, particularly fresh blankets – if winter is long and cold, the blankets are unlikely to be washed again before Spring – for a cozy feel.
- Warm up: If you have not (or generally do not) stocked your pantry for winter, I would like to suggest you keep on hand the ingredients for simple,comfort food. On my own shelf, I keep chicken broth, pasta, canned chick peas, and canned tomatoes. These few basic ingredients turn into a warm and hearty pasta dish I can make any time, and my family loves it.
- Hearth’s glow: Few of us maintain an actual hearth but the positive energy of that warm glow can be achieved with candles. A quality candle (I favor WoodWick as my first choice) provides color, fragrance, and warmth as soon as you light it. Additionally, fragrance choices can impact mood in positive ways.
- DELEGATE: There is absolutely no shame in delegating where you are able. Teenagers in your house? GOOD! They can strip the beds, take the linens to the laundry-mat and make the beds when they return. Peapod can deliver canned goods and bottled water, Amazon can deliver anything else. Your significant other can take the car in for service or wait for furnace service to arrive. You are not required to do everything yourself – deputize!
Once the mundane chores are handled, The Spirit of The Holidays will have a place to land – you will be more able to enjoy errands such as shopping and wrapping presents, planning meals, or deciding what activities you might like to initiate (haven’t you always wanted to go sledding?).
The Beaver Moon is industrious – time to get it done!
*List meant to be a sample. For more info, check out http://www.almanac.com/topics/calendar/holidays.
((All images courtesy of Google Images. Cards featured: Steampunk Tarot (Moore & Fell). ))