I’ve been blogging for a year now and what a year it has been! This has been one of the hardest and yet at the same time THE  MOST wonderful year of my life!!! In 2008 I traveled to Spain with my sister. I sold my Pathfinder, bought Penelope the Prius, and put almost 30,000 miles on her. I drove to Maine and back. I visited with friends and family up and down the California coast and across the country. I reconnected with long-time friends. I made new ones. I experienced some of the deepest, dark depression and recovered my sunny sense of self. I’ve grown and stretched and opened like never before… I’m full of gratitude… ready and eager to unwrap 2009!!! Thank you for your love, support, kindness, understanding, presence, forgiveness, caring, sharing, and multitude of other gifts.

This holiday season I’ve chosen to abstain from mainstream gift giving, socializing and other hoopla. My priorities are work (I realize I took a cumulative FIVE months off this year!!!) and family. I ducked briefly into stores the last few weeks and found wild-eyed people anxiously fighting for parking places, navigating aisles, and loading carts full of stuff. I smiled gleefully thinking of my non-existent gift lists and my well-paced calendar of events. I feel light and unburdened by obligations. Don’t get me wrong. I love gift giving and take great pleasure in thoughtful acts. I certainly plan to give a few… Gifts that are easy and meaningful. Gifts that feel good. And I plan to celebrate. I look forward to shared meals and time with friends and family, but I won’t miss party after activity after party. This year is about simplicity, gratitude, joy, nature, eco-conscious choices, sharing time with people I love, financial responsibility, and extreme self-care. This year is about supporting local, staying close to home, relaxing, and appreciating the simple abundance of my life.

The 2008 holiday season is all about values. It’s about quality of life. What does that mean to you? How can you practice more quality and less quantity this year? What do you value most about the holiday season? What can you do differently to ensure you are living those values?