Cookies and cocoa on a December afternoon #slowholidays

Written by Kara Fleck, Simple Kids editor and Rockin’ Granola mama.

Can you feel it?  The pace that wants to quicken, the days that want to fly by, the moments slipping through our fingers?  This time of year the focus can easily slip into that of hustle and bustle … and I am fighting against it with every thing I have.  The more the outside world wants to speed up, to shout loudly, the more I want to slow down, to whisper.

These are the days.

Recent events have driven home how fragile life is, haven’t they, friends?  Things can change so much from Christmas to Christmas.  I’m reminded again and again how much joy there is under my roof and how very lucky I am to have it.  I want to live in these moments, paying attention, and savoring them.

Slow Holidays

Erin Goodman has issued a gentle reminder to slow down and savor the holidays.  She’s written about it here and started the social media hashtag #SlowHolidays for Instagram and twitter.

In Erin’s words, “slowing down, getting outside, finding quiet, connecting with my center – and bringing that peaceful space back to you here.”

I’ve been following along and I appreciate the gentle reminder to seek out that quiet, embrace the simple, focus on the calm and the peace. 

There is no “perfect”

Part of that has meant scaling back my elaborate plans and shifting into a simpler gear (i.e. letting go of the massive holiday baking plans for our afternoon and being content to dip some peanut butter sandwich cookies from the store into white chocolate instead).

I switched off the news a few days ago, unable to bear it any longer and wishing to protect my children (and I’ll admit, my own heart) as much as I can from the details.  I wrap presents and think of those unopened, waiting.  I play in the kitchen with my little ones and think of empty chairs at the table.

This time is a gift.

And so we’re dancing to Christmas music in the kitchen, and watching favorite movies and spending quiet hours reading, or simply lingering over cocoa and cookies, making a happy little mess on a rainy December afternoon.

The kids chatter back and forth, cheeks full of chocolate chips, excited for Santa’s arrival in a few days.  Their voices fill my kitchen, wondering about presents, speculating if we’ll get snow, cracking each other up with silly jokes.  It is music to my ears.

There’s no gentle white snowfall.  In fact, the skies are grey and the rain has been steady.  The cookies resemble Charlie Brown’s Halloween costume more than their Pinterest inspiration, I’m pretty sure Lucy has had more to eat more she decorated, I noticed too late the dirt under Max’s fingernails, and the cocoa burned my tongue on the first sip.

All of it, absolutely perfect.

Here’s to slowing down, letting go of perfect, and enjoying the little things!

Update: I see that Jennifer over at Swing, Whistle, Zing is giving away a copy of one of our favorite Christmas albums, A Laurie Berkner Christmas. Head over to Jennifer’s blog to enter. It looks like the giveaway ends tonight.

About Kara

Kara Fleck is the editor of Simple Kids. She is a small town mama, writer, knitter, bookworm, and hooligan. Kara lives in Indiana with her husband Christopher and their four children Jillian, Max, Lucy, and Amelia. You can find more of her writing at

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  1. We’re definitely keeping it slow this season. It doesn’t have to be perfect is my mantra this Christmas.
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  2. This was beautiful, Kara. I find that sometimes I just stop what I am doing and take it in for moment and it helps me savor it and permanently place it in my memory. Truly, relationships are the most important thing this holiday season.

  3. Thank you, Kara, for the simple reminder… I needed it today.

  4. So sweet, Kara! A perfect afternoon. We did a similar thing on the weekend. We filled out front window with paper snowflakes we cut out. Some of them are lopsided and they are all stuck up there with way more tape than is necessary (or looks good), and it was a joyous afternoon spent together. (I’m still sweeping up the little triangles – that part – not so joyous…hehe :)
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  5. Thanks Kara! What beautiful words to embody the spirit of the upcoming week. Thanks for remind us all how to practice “slow” during a week of rush. (I’m sharing it with my extended family members too to help spread the word!)
    Jennifer´s latest post: UPDATED: Music Monday Review and Giveaway: A Laurie Berkner Christmas

  6. That sounds like such a great day! I like to take long walks to ease my busy routine. I don’t mind the cold too much either. Wool socks go a long way in the winter.
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  7. Yes! After church on Sunday, we were prepped to make one last drive to the outlet mall, but we scapped those plans and headed to the grocery store for cookie baking supplies instead. An afternoon home making Christmas cookies with holiday music in the background was JUST what we all needed.

    We got our first snow this morning and I think we’ll repeat – more cookies and hot cocoa – this afternoon. If time allows, we’ll break out the scissors and construction paper to make snowflakes. If not, we’ll do it on a later day… or not.

    I am doing my best not to rush toward Christmas.
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  8. I love this post, Kara. Absolutely beautiful. Here’s to the true perfection all around us!
    Amanda Morgan´s latest post: Because Writing is My Therapy…Thoughts on Tragedy and Mental Health

  9. Kara,
    I love the idea of slowing down for the holidays. Everything can get so hectic around Christmas, but if we spent more afternoons like the one you just wrote about, I think we’d all be more cheerful.
    Great post, I really enjoyed the pictures too.

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