Friends Make Me Happy

When I think about October, November and December, the first thing that comes to mind are the mega holidays… and the reminders are already everywhere. I went to Costco to pick up Ribeyes for dinner and the store was full of lights, trees and reindeer.

The three summer holidays are my favorite. Light and breezy, free and easy. Low expectations and high satisfaction. Sunshine, health and healthy summer food! The mega holidays are sparkly and cheerful but pack a little more punch and the pace is fast. What should be gatherings of love, friendship and family can sometimes get lost in the shuffle of shopping, decor and obligations.

To stick with my goal of calm and peace, I’m jumping on the positivity train just as early as these stores gear up for the holidays. I’ll slide over in my seat, and make a space for you to hop on, too.

Isn’t one of the lines from a popular seasonal song “Let there be peace on Earth, and let it begin with me”? Being the optimist (and proactive gal that I am), I’m choosing to be deliberate about the way I perceive the holidays this year:

“68 precious days til Christmas and—for each one—a day to be appreciative and zen. Thankful for breathing, walking, seeing, hearing, healthy children and loved ones. All the goodness of nature and the lovely souls whose faces I can’t wait to see.”

opening our homes and hearts holiday party gluten free sage friends make me happy

I have a traditional Boat Parade party once a year around Christmas and it’s beautiful. It’s The Present of Presence. We celebrate a few birthdays and the joys of the season with good food and big hearts.

Parties are those kind of commitments we can easily talk ourselves out of hosting, especially during the holidays. It seems that there’s always something that has to be done. I remind myself that it’s not an obligation, but a special occasion that brings people together! It’s a celebration of the present moment and a chance to show our gratitude to friends and loved ones. I’m always hopeful everyone has fun and it’s a tradition I will never quit… no matter how full the holidays seem.

Friends make me happy. And I have two very special friends that help me make this party happen: Mary and Karin. I could not do it without them.

I didn’t always have a tribe for this event, and it was a funny juggling act. I could still do it on my own, but they make sure everyone is taken care of while I’m able to focus on our friends. They make the whole process sweeter.

Now that it’s almost Halloween, December is right around the corner and my thoughts are on the Boat Parade. I’ve been getting some ideas—some which came from a brand new magazine I stumbled upon at the market: The hot-off-the-press premiere issue of The Magnolia Journal, produced by Chip and Joanna Gaines of HGTV. It has gorgeous photography, color and texture, and you can feel the love jump off the pages!

If you want to throw a party and you’re not sure what to do, pick up this magazine! The issue’s focus is on hospitality and is chock full of ideas and inspiration. Joanna writes in her editor’s letter, “A mysterious thing happens in the simple act of opening our homes and welcoming others.” Each article captures this sentiment and instantly reminded me of the warmth of sharing food with family and friends.

I also picked up a copy of Coastal Living. Both magazines coincidentally mentioned charcuterie, a sweet and savory hors d’oeuvre board, and Coastal Living had a great article on wine and cheese pairings.

My take away from both of these publications is to host a Charcuterie Party—holidays or not! It’s an easy, beautiful and fun way to throw a simple gathering. Can’t wait to make one and share it with delicious wine and great friends!