As time keeps marching on, we are getting closer and closer to the holiday season, as well as winter weather. When I awoke this morning, I looked out on my deck and saw this:
The first significant indication that winter is just around the corner.
Even though it seems that this past year has gone by too quickly, I tend to take each day as it comes, and appreciate it for what it is.
I don't dread winter as many of my friends and family do. If anything, I find it forces us to slow down a bit. I know you all probably think that I am crazy making that statement, as with the holiday season quickly approaching, we seem to be busier than ever, but I do find that once we get a grip on things and stop trying so hard to be everything to everyone, we may actually enjoy the cold, winter days ahead. After all – every day is only as good as we decide to make it.
Perhaps it is because I am getting older (and maybe a bit wiser!), but I feel that many times we are our own worst enemies when it comes to the holidays. We have this perfect picture of what Christmas and the holidays should "be" in our heads and we set standards that are all but impossible to achieve.
As with most memories, they often are embellished a bit in our minds to be a little bit different than reality. We tend to filter out the negative parts a little bit and focus on the good parts, which is a good thing, but doesn't always leave us with a realistic picture of how things were. While this practice is comforting and harmless in most instances, I think that as the years pass and this process happens again and again, we begin to look at our past experiences in a way that our standards are unrealistically set much higher than we can ever imagine. We use these memories as benchmarks for subsequent years and we find ourselves frustrated when we don't live up to the expectations we have for ourselves in our minds. It doesn't have to be that way.
Memories should be cherished. It is wonderful to forget the slightly dry turkey, the bare spot in the back of the tree, or the ugly sweater auntie Susie got us that one year. Dwelling on those types of mishaps wouldn't really be productive. But what I feel is important is not the things that made the holidays special, but the people and the feelings.
Some of my favorites Christmases were the quiet ones. Some of the most cherished moments were those of just 'being' and sitting and watching others and taking it all in. While it is nice to have a beautifully set table or a dinner fit for a queen or king, I think the most important thing that we can all do for ourselves is to train ourselves to look for and appreciate the little things such as the sound of the children's laughter, the taste of a cup of peppermint tea or the warmth of our favorite pet curled at our legs.
Once we begin to notice and appreciate these things, the other things somehow aren't so important. And because these simple things are usually part of our everyday lives, we are happier people for appreciating them. We no longer feel the need to have 'bigger' and 'better' each year. We find comfort in ourselves and the surroundings we have right now, every day. I believe that makes for a happy life.
Sorry to go off on a tangent. It is funny what a little snow can do, isn't it? ;)
Today we are updating the website. Keith has several new patterns available and I have the new SLDS101 Roc-Lon Tree Border Candle Wrap painting surface:
For a limited time, I am offering a "Buy 2 and get 1 Free" on it. I want you to all see how fabulous this surface is to work with. Not only is it great for Christmas, but for a cabin or camp theme as well. You can now get the "Joy" pattern at Toletown painting community. It will be there for the month of December, and then I will have it on my site. Toletown is a great meeting place for painters of all skills and I think you will love it there! I hope you check it out.
Keith has three new patterns and pattern sets available as well. His SLDK635 Nativity Oval Overlay Plaque pattern is simple, but pretty and would make a great last minute gift to make:
He also put together a nice set – SLDK634 - God Is Good, God Is Love and God Is Wise:
As all of the sets of this nature, they are also available individually.
Finally,we have moved the SLDK629 Welcome Family and Friends plaque pattern to the regular section on our site:
This is a great plaque pattern for any time of the year. It also makes a wonderful gift.
One final thing that I want to mention today is that our newsletter is going to be sent out soon. It will have pretty much the same information as my blog here today, but it will also include a 15% off discount code to all of our subscribers. The code is good site wide and is only available to those of you who subscribe. We do this because we want to thank you for being loyal customers and keeping us designing. We only send out a newsletter a couple of times a month (roughly every two weeks – give or take) and we dont' share your information or spam. We just want you to see what we have new, as we realize that everyone doesn't have time to read here every day and keep up with us in these busy times. It is our way of saying 'thank you' to you. :)
That will be it for today. This weekend I plan on getting some decorations up and finishing up the gifts that I am making so I can mail them out by Monday (or around there!) Being in Canada means that it will take a little time to get to where I am sending, and I hope I can do so on time.
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. I know it is busy for most, but I hope that you all try not to feel too much stress of the season. If you begin to feel anxious, stop and ask yourself how important the thing you are stressed about really is. Chances are that it isn't life or death and not worth the anxiety you are feeling. "Letting go" is the best gift you can offer yourself.
Have a wonderful weekend! Happy Friday to you all!
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"