Getting to a Place of Christmas Cheer

I learned something important yesterday: both Trader Joe's English Toffee and PBS's Downton Abbey are highly addictive, and when they're combined, it makes for a blissfully indulgent day.  Add into the mix that I'm feeling healthy after a week of sickness, my semester is successfully finished, and my children are in school for two more days before their break begins.  After fifteen weeks of hustle, this is perfect.  I'm getting to settle into Christmas before Christmas actually arrives.

(Necessary aside regarding Downton Abbey: I know I'm late to arrive at this party, but I finally heeded the recommendation of multiple friends and took the plunge by watching ten episodes in the span of three days.  There's no turning back.  I'm personally invested in the characters' lives.  The theme song is permanently seared into my brain.  It's so good.)

Yesterday as I tinkered and enjoyed the uncommon openness of the day, I realized that I'm happy.  Really happy.  I've spent time preparing my home by making some fun Christmas decorations, like this canvas with ornaments:

and these JOY letters painted white, accented with silver spray-painted snowflakes,

and then hung simply over our regular pictures with ribbon.

The Christmas cheer has seeped into my bones, and I think it's due, in large part, to the fact that I've finally slowed down.  Often, I regard rest as a luxury I can't afford or an indulgence I shouldn't take, but after two days of decompression, I remember that rest is necessary.  A frenetic Christmas, just like a frenetic life, isn't entirely enjoyable.

Yes, Trader Joe's toffee, and obnoxious quantities of a long-awaited TV show, and a few festive decorative touches are just right these days.  Just right for Christmas cheer, indeed.

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