Wednesday, December 22, 2021


Karen here doing a take over behind Lisa's back.... hoping she doesn't mind this Holiday Gnome Invasion! As we are just days away from the Christmas Celebration, in this our second crazy Christmas with  restrictions and fear. I thought I would pop in to see how you are all doing. I also wanted to share about how I am doing things different this year.

It is doubtful that we will see a White Christmas here where I live in the Wet West Coast of Canada, we were treated to an early sprinkle on December 7th, I still grabbed the opportunity to participate in some much needed holiday normality. 

I have been trying to sink my claws into the holiday joy and delight that I used to know, while trying to avoid the pitfalls and traps of being an "adult" at Christmas. So I have been doing things a little differently this holiday season, taking back the holidays as best I can. 

One of the best sayings I read in the last few years was that "Traditions are peer pressure from dead people" and somehow that made me laugh and feel like I had the power to make changes to how I do, celebrate and enjoy the holidays. My parents have both past, my kids are mostly grown and now young adults and somehow I still feel like a kid at Christmas, but was finding that I was feeling that Christmas spirit less and less over the years. 

So this year, I bought myself three or four advent calenders and I really looked forward to getting out of bed each day, ok honestly I ordered one in the summer and I have misplaced it so that one when I find it will be ready

 for next year. I got one that is tea, one that is candles and one that is Yule themed, the Anime Toy one is the one that is missing so it won't go bad when I do find it. The candle one I got post christmas sale last year for $5.99 and I have enjoyed lovely scented tea lights each morning. So I felt pretty spoiled and very blessed each morning to feel that excitment I used to get only Christmas morning. 

I work at a school and made sure that every single day I had on something very over the top Christmas like, on the Thursday before school ended I wore the above costume to the delight of the children and the horror of the staff, ok well they thought it was pretty cool, but I am 5 feet tall so I was not too intimidating and honestly I got so many smiles and side hugs at school that I may have to make this a yearly tradition.

Another thing  I did was I decided in early November that for my boys, I hate the rush of Christmas morning and as it is always a rush to unwrap so they can go to their Dad's, I told them I really wanted to see them enjoy what I got for them so on the weeks they were with me I sprinkled their gifts throughout our time together. We love games so I gave them their table top games in late November and we have had several fun family game nights as a result. I hung their funny underwear and boxer shorts on the tree as we have yet to decorate the tree... I placed new socks under the tree so it was easy to find each morning and a little spring in their steps. I also gave them books early to enjoy.
Basically the anxiety and stress of gift giving seems to have made it much more relaxed around here. The boys even gave me their gift on Friday, getting into the spirit they made me open my new bird house and holiday movie that I had lost and we had a great family movie night.

My nieces came by for my sons birthday on Saturday and I gave them their gifts then, I got to watch them open them and see how excited they were and enjoy the moment live instead of as a photo sent on Facebook Christmas morning.

I also have tried to only check the news once a day, not because I want to be ignorant to what is happening around the world, but to protect my own holiday spirit and mental health. We all know things are not great, that life goes on and for many there is very little holiday joy, spirits are low and more time spent worrying than enjoying the time were are given. I spent many years trying to find this holiday spirit that I seem to have this year and no it has not been easy at times but it has been so worth it.  So many years I spent stressing, over doing, worrying, crying, traveling to make others happy, and just faking it through the holidays. Many years where the spirit of the holidays passed me by. But no more. This year I am happy I found the Holiday Spirit, was able to share it and hopefully I will be able to maintain it, revive it and relish in it for years to come.  Now if I could only find away to sit and read again that would truly be a Christmas Miracle. 

I even found this Holiday Spirit Sprayer which I think I will fill and keep in my purse to spray others with....can you imagine?  
Thank you for letting me share on this Gnome Invasion and I would love to hear what you might do differently, or how you share, create enjoy the Holidays during these crazy times. Please leave me a comment below. Thank you to Lisa for her amazing post that give me hope and insight into the wonderful world of Cozy Mysteries that I so love. 


  1. Karen, your takeovers are always fun. If I didn't want you to do them, I wouldn't keep the backdoor to my blog unlocked for you. ;-) I'm happy you found the Christmas spirit this year. You're post made me think of the song, "Where Are You Christmas?" by Faith Hill. I'm off shopping with my sisters today. When I'm with them the Christmas spirit is a lot easier to find. Love you my friend. And love to all of you who make my blog fun to do! Hugs to you all.

  2. Thanks, Karen (and Lisa). I’m glad you found ways to better enjoy the season, this year. I think we’re all weary from the past couple of years. Finding ways to stress less (I’m doing the same with the news) is important.
    Merry Christmas,
    Pat T

  3. Hey Karen! Thank you for this brave and honest post. In a former life, I worked as a PT, and whenever someone was about to lose their balance, I would urge them to move their feet to establish a new base of support. I admire how you’ve shifted your ideas of what the holidays “should” be and have established a new, solid stance with a redefined perspective that has brought more joy to you, your family, and all those at the school. The Grinch costume … priceless, a votive candle advent calendar … how did I not know about this? “Traditions are peer pressure from dead people”… a high five for sharing that!