Springs Community Notes, December 12

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December 7, 2013- In General

Moving into the holidays, my favorite mantra to myself and others is to stay simple. Unfortunately, I can easily get off track, and if I’m not super diligent will find myself frantically overdoing everything and lamenting all. When I get caught up in crazy holiday perfectionism all the joy and peace of the season gets sucked right out the window. That’s when I need to catch myself, simplify as much as possible, take some deep breaths, and remind myself of all of my many blessings. No matter what, all really is well. If my cake turns out dry, my dishes are mix and match, and my gifts reflect what I can afford to give (even if that means no gift, at all), I am stilled loved by my family and friends…and, so are you! Perfection is never the way to happiness, nor is spending tons of money which just paves the way to future stress. Believe it or not, the season truly is joyous when we allow it to be.

This weekend, Springs is the laid back festive place to be offering holiday enjoyment for the entire family. Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Ashawagh Hall presents the “By Hand-A Holiday Gift Show,” a community event that features beautifully fine-crafted gifts of all kinds lovingly made by the hands of local artisans. The hall will be filled with a wide array of hand-woven apparel, fine jewelry, pottery, wood carvings, homemade soaps, handbags, sweet toys, and lots more. Finding something for that someone special shouldn’t be hard here. With free admission, gratis holiday refreshments, and festive music, it’s also fun to just browse and soak up the merry vibes.

For an old-fashioned and homey holiday feel, it couldn’t be easier to step across the street from Ashawagh Hall to the Springs Community Presbyterian Church to check out their 8th Annual Holiday Craft Fair on Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Here is another opportunity to find more unique, handcrafted gifts or to be simply inspired to make your own.

Stepping to the other side of the street from Ashawagh Hall, offers another quaint shopping experience that definitely does not drain the bank. The Springs Library offers a great selection of gently used and popular books that make terrific gifts, plus packs of Springs Historical playing cards, interesting booklets that tell the story of our culture and roots, and it’s always a cozy, feel-good browsing experience.

To support the effort of our school while keeping within a budget, tomorrow night from 6 to 8 p.m. “The Holiday Bazaar” at The Springs School on School Street is set up in the Commons Room and welcomes the public. It’s a nice way to find little gifts that range in price from a quarter to $10. Now, that is fun for the entire family!

In my opinion, the nicest giving experience is the one where you can only imagine the happiness evoked from your gesture of anonymous generosity. Through December 19, please drop off a new unwrapped toy in one of the Toys for Tots collection boxes. Here in Springs, these can be found at Springs Pizza on the corner of Fort Pond Blvd and Springs Fireplace Road and the Springs General Store. It’s a foolproof way to lift your spirits that will last throughout the holiday season.

Both of these places offer ways to cut back on your holiday stress. I found this out just this past week. Exhausted from over work and still recovering from a long bout of a nasty cold, I had my son pick up a take out from the Springs Pizza…a chicken parmesan dinner that was super delicious. For only $12, it easily feeds at least two hungry people. You can’t beat it! Then, Jenny, the out-of-this-world baker from the Springs General Store made the moistest, most delicious carrot cake for my son’s birthday dinner to accompany my efforts at a chocolate peanut butter cake that was cute, but rather dry. Vicky of Old Stone Market is also a fabulous baker with a wide array of Greek specialty confections, plus made to order treats of all kinds. It’s nice to know that those of us who can get too busy around this time, have the choice of simply picking up the phone and placing an order. Though, truth be told, even if you just buy a box of Sara Lee, the world as you know it will not come to an end. I promise!

The most important gift we can give this holiday season is to ourselves by letting ourselves off the hook and letting go of expectations. Though not easy to do, it’s worth practicing. Just as anxious, high tension vibes are felt by the people around us, a calmer spirit spreads its magic and bestows a loving peacefulness. Until next time, happy week all!

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