I don’t have grandchildren yet. And while I love, love, love the holidays, I also dread, dread, dread the busyness of the season. (Which seems to happen earlier each year or is this just my imagination?)

So last year, I began to wonder why I get myself all worked up and frantic carrying out the mandatory rituals every November-December. It was not easy to score a live tree last winter here on my rural island, so I opted out of the pine needle, broken ornaments (cause by cattus domesticus who can’t stop playing with the shiny things),  sugary dough all over the kitchen, unwritten Christmas card mess.

And it was…heavenly.

So this year, I was way more gentle with myself
. Thanksgiving was glorious at our neighbor’s house – potlucked of course. The day was lazy and filled with gratitude for us.

Theresa Venus is here on-island and we celebrated Lei Venus’s birthday with a holiday dinner of turkey, ham, and all the trimmings. There was no have-to or pressure, just an ease of fun food prep, sharing of conversation and meal, and mostly quality time spent with one another.

Wow, two holiday feasts already and no stress so far
. I’m thinking that I may be on to something. Because the rituals have been comin’ apart at the seams, in the very best possible way,  it was with absolute serenity that we cruised downtown to see the Christmas parade of lights and hang out with the entire island’s population to celebrate, Hawaiian style.

I am having a tree trimming party
. Which involves putting miniature ornaments on a Lilliputian fake tree (about 4 inches tall). Yes, I mean inches, not feet. I can hold it in the palm of my hand.

Of course, there will be eggnog and wine. We can sing Christmas carols. (Or not, maybe it’d better to listen to Willie K. or Na Leo Pilimehana sing.) And we’ll even have the right smells, thanks to Menopause Goddess Teri Waros’s Kalele Bookstore and Divine Expressions – provider of the Douglas Fir incense

You are all invited. Happy stress free holiday and Mele Kalikimaka.