The holidays with the decorating, excitement & parties can be overwhelming to say the least. The checklists the things we think need to be done become an albatross of ‘musts’. As I have grown older (and hopefully a bit wiser) my lists have gotten smaller & the things I think I have to do has changed. I find that doing fewer things wholeheartedly makes a lot more sense & keeps the holidays more joyous. Instead of baking 10 different varieties of cookies, I will concentrate on 3 or 4 favorites. No pre-printed cards & labels for me, I handwrite notes & address each envelope to let the recipient know that I actually took time write to wish them well. Shopping & wrapping can seem monumental, but a few meaningful items wrapped in even basic Kraft paper with a ribbon can mean the world to someone more than a pile of presents. Wrap a card in a box with a handwritten IOU to go do something in the upcoming year. A visit to a botanical gardens, a zoo, day at the beach or even a picnic in a park are all wonderful ways to give the gift of your time & presence. I believe that although the holidays represent pageantry & parties, what the holidays most mean to me is a time to be grateful for those we share our lives with, be present in what we do, & it is a wonderful time to reconnect with the people & things we love. Celebrate each day. Set your table with your finest dishes & drink from you fancy glasses to remind us of this special season. We have beautiful things so enjoy them. Do things that make you happy & make others smile, but do not make it complicated, it doesn’t have to be. Create & celebrate holidays with gladness, but to make sure it is really special, Keep It Simple Silly!