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Welcome! Lenkaland shares my adventures in creative photography, raising kind children, writing, living with chronic illness, raising a daughter with dyslexia, and swimming with mermaids. Hope you have a nice stay!

Tiger discovered the Christmas tree! This will be Tiger's first Christmas with us. Anika already hung a stocking for him. She is super-excited to share the holidays with her cat. And what does it mean? Our Christmas?

I love traditions. I love to rise up and shine. I have strong ideas. For example, the Christmas tree should be done in a day. We should have snacks and hot cider. We should take photos. We should sit back and admire the pretty lights shining on ornaments and toast our work with spiked eggnog. Should, should, should.

I can spend a lot of time feeling inadequate. As the shoulds pile up around my like heavy snowfall, I can sink into frustration and persnickety moods. Yes, I said persnickety. There's a fun word. Not a fun mood.

I get bogged down in rules. My own rules for how this season should unfold.

This year, I throw the rules into a dark hole. This year, I chase good moods. My kids don't know these rules. They won't remember how many homemade cookies we baked or how many gifts we crafted. They will remember magic. And magic has shortcuts. Magic doesn't like rules.

For example, today we cleaned the living room, sorted an old pile of books into give-aways and keepers, set up the tree, brought in boxes, and patched up the tree with extra lights. Our old tree deserves a post of its own. Our tree is twelve years old and has outdated technology where one dead light takes out the entire strand.

But it's our tree and we believe in creative solutions. So as I stood back to admire my last extra strand of lights to fill in dark patches, I knew I was done for the day. We didn't hang a single ornament. We had a small bowl of crackers for snacks. And I completely forgot about the eggnog.

But all that... All that is just fine. It might take a week to get the decorations out of boxes. And that's fine too. Rules are made to be broken. And I am going to rewrite our traditions one day at a time. We can make holidays magical for us. One shortcut at a time.

I will share any good shortcuts I can find with you, of course. So far, my trick is to take breaks. This is not a race. Make it work for us, not for any random expectations that are mostly my own big creations. Rest. Slow down. Enjoy the day.

One tradition at a time :)

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