Least Stressful Holidays Ever

We didn't travel anywhere for the holidays this year, and so far it has been really relaxing. I was wondering why people make the holidays into such a crazy thing, but then I thought of my favorite holiday things in the past.

In 1990, my grandmother gave me a dollhouse she had made that had real electricity, actual newspapers and magazines, bacon and eggs cooking on the stove and a whole family complete with a dog and a pet turtle.

It was awesome, and I am sure it was probably stressful for her to make that whole thing herself in addition to all that she did for all the other people in her life. The fact that I remember this fabulous dollhouse and that Christmas in general 22 years later must point to the fact that it is all worth the stress - at least maybe for relatives of small children. But for me now, let's hear it for the least stressful holidays ever. Brought to you by:

  • French press coffee (so, so delicious). I got the Bodum 8 cup Brazil French Press for Christmas, and it works great.

  •  Jacques Pepin's soda bread made into breakfast sandwiches with eggs given as a Christmas gift from my new boss courtesy of her husband's chickens. 
  •  Pajamas from Ann Taylor Loft, and a book I am reading I bought a long time ago called Sometimes Madness is Wisdom about the marriage of Zelda and Scott Fitzgerald. They drink too much, throw wild parties, jump in fountains, and hang out with Ernest Hemingway - fun all around!
  • Rounding the bases to the finish on the last season of "Alias". I wrote about some thoughts about the show at the end of this post. Besides being influenced by Sydney Bristow's fashion sense lately, and those previously stated comments about the whole show possibly being about the role of work in modern life, what is also interesting is in my own life having watched the entire show in college. At that time, I worked 40 hours a week, took four classes at a time, and had no idea how I would end up. To watch a show again years later is like hearing a song from another time in your life, or reading Jane Eyre again - it takes you back like nothing else. I think mostly it makes me remember how anxious I was then about the future, and how little I knew about adulthood or the professional working world. This all makes me think of the words of a very wise woman - "If you live only in the past you are angry, if you live only for the future you are anxious, but if you live in the present you are at peace". Great words to live by when thinking about the new year approaching. Sydney Bristow is a great character. She's strong (obviously), sincerely kind, ridiculously smart, and ethically solid. She was probably a good character for my college self to have spent some time with (in retrospect I can't really say the same for the "Sex and the City" crew, although I know they were a big part of the reason I moved to New York City), but as an older person now I feel bad for her sometimes. She accomplished a lot in the world, sure, and my college self was fascinated by all of that, but at what cost? Now, getting to the end of the series a second time I can't wait for it to end because I know it leaves her on a beach with her husband. Years later, I've come to appreciate the idea of balance in life a lot more than I did in college. On that note, its really nice to have some time to relax. Just like this time last year I made a recipe for challah bread that started with 9 cups of flour (what?). Check it out at the end of this post.


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