Holiday Flair

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It’s time for a birthday activities update! This year, following on the success of last year, I’m selecting random activities from a jar and completing them as I can. Check out 63 Curious Things to Do for My 63rd Birthday for more info about this fun game I made up.

I’m posting an update every couple of weeks and featuring highlights of the activities I’m doing or have completed. Because my birthday falls right after the holidays, I include a number of Thanksgiving and Christmas related activities. Check out these fun birthday activities with a definite holiday flair.

Holiday Flair title meme

Holiday Flair

As I did in the last post, I’m listing each activity on the day I drew the folded slip of paper out of the jar. And I’m highlighting a good selection of activities and adding whether they are completed or in process.

11/25/2020 Send an encouraging text or message to 63 people (in process)

11/26/2020 Create a new holiday dish for Thanksgiving (completed)

Thanksgiving was very low key this year. Greg and I ate a Thanksgiving meal with our two daughters, a son-in-law and two grandchildren. With a new baby keeping them busy, I didn’t want my daughter and son-in-law to cook so I ordered a heat and serve Thanksgiving meal from Cracker Barrel this year. Greg and I enjoyed a plant based meal.

I created a roasted veggie bowl that featured vegan mashed potatoes and vegan gravy, roasted Brussels sprouts, broccoli, carrots, pecans and acorn squash, and a dab of cranberry sauce. It was delicious!

I’ve never made vegan gravy before. However, it’s so easy. Melt 2 tablespoons of vegan butter in a small saucepan, stir in 2 tablespoons of gluten free flour until mixture bubbles, add dashes of onion powder, salt and pepper and a pinch of thyme, then stir in 1 1/2 cups of vegetable broth. Heat just to boiling then simmer a couple of minutes.

Holiday Flair Thanksgiving meal
Holiday Flair – vegan Thanksgiving meal

11/27/2020 Do a unique Christmas Activity (completed)

Okay, I admit I switched two activities. This one I drew two weeks ago and to fulfill it, I intended to participate in the drive by Joplin Christmas Parade. The parade cancelled, due to COVID and the danger of people gathering to create the floats.

I drew another activity…contact a person I haven’t talked to since childhood (not completed yet) and moved it into the earlier unique Christmas activity slot.

For this activity I instead enjoyed a stroll through my favorite park. Mercy Park offers a Christmas Tree Trail this month featuring 21 trees decorated by area businesses and organizations. There’s also a fun light and music presentation.

Walking after sunset one evening, I loved stopping by each lit and decorated tree and admiring them. Every tree is uniquely beautiful, which is perfect for a unique Christmas activity!

Holiday Flair Christmas Tree Trail
Holiday Flair – Christmas Tree Trail at Mercy Park

11/28/2020 Build a bee house (not complete yet but I’m very excited to create one for my backyard garden)

11/29/2020 Write out 63 memories from my life (completed)

11/30/2020 Adopt a Christmas tradition from one of my ancestral countries (completed)

I’ve enjoyed learning about Christmas traditions from around the world. See my post HERE. I’ll have fun incorporating several of those into my Christmas this year.

Through Ancestry DNA I’ve discovered my countries of origin: Scotland, England, Wales, Ireland, Germany, Norway and Nigeria. This Christmas I’m including traditions from Scotland (yule bread), Ireland (red candle in the window Christmas Eve), Germany (St Nicholas Day), Norway (a house nisser) and Nigeria (sparklers on Christmas Day).

Not only do I get to add to my traditions, I connect more deeply with my ancestral roots.

Holiday Flair red candle
Holiday Flair – I’ll place this red candle in the window on Christmas Eve, to honor an Irish Christmas tradition

12/1/2020 Spend an entire day in silence (not completed yet)

12/2/2020 Become a Scottish Lady (completed)

This activity makes me smile. This time of year, especially, several land companies in Scotland sell small parcels of land to anyone who wants to buy one. Based on Scottish custom, owning even one square foot of land makes you a landowner and gives you the right to use the honorary titles Laird, Lord or Lady.

It’s a perfect…and fun…way to connect with the land that I love as nod to my Scottish heritage. I now own one square foot of land in the Scottish Highlands. My certificate arrived with my title. Call me Lady Cynthia Lauderdale Moore.

Plus, every order contributes to the planting of native trees. I’m helping to preserve the Scottish Highlands. Get your plot of land HERE.

Holiday Flair Lady
Holiday Flair – a fun gift to myself that helps preserve the Scottish Highlands

12/3/2020 Have a mini retreat at home (completed)

This time of year, as a new year approaches, I value a long weekend retreat. Typically I find an Airbnb or a cottage where I can spend time in solitude planning, reading, writing and relaxing.

This year, because of COVID, I chose to do a mini weekend retreat in my own home.  My bedroom became my “hotel” room. And from noon on Saturday until about 6:00 pm Sunday I enjoyed retreat activities such as an extended time of reading, journaling, writing on my book (another birthday activity), coloring (birthday activity) and watching a few Christmas movies on Netflix.

As I do while on a solitary retreat, I prepared healthy meals and snacks. I did not do blog or real estate work during my retreat or things like laundry or general housework.

This mini retreat at home was so enjoyable and productive that I intend to do them more often!

12/4/2020 Spend a day writing on House Haunting (completed)

This activity gloved perfectly with my mini retreat at home. I spent Sunday writing on this book that is literally stories from my life.  The chapters are flowing well and accumulating! I’ll check in with publishers soon.

I enjoyed writing on the book so much that I also intend to devote at least two Sundays a month to its completion.

Holiday Flair House Haunting
Holiday Flair – my book is a work in progress

12/5/2020 Learn to Knit (in process)

12/6/2020 Visit a place in Oklahoma I’ve never been to before (completed – Coleman Theatre in Miami OK)

12/7/2020 Do a progressive dinner through Joplin (not completed yet)

Birthday Celebration

I realized an important truth for me this past week. For most of my life, I expected other people to celebrate me on my birthday. And of course, my parents did during my childhood.

However, as an adult I quickly discovered other people don’t always have the same ideas and traditions about celebrating birthdays. I spent many sad birthdays lamenting that fact. And you know what? Somewhere along the way it became less important that others celebrate my birth and more important that I celebrate the day by being absolutely who I am and doing the things I most enjoy.

These extended times of celebrating my birthday with activities are perfectly in alignment with who I am. I’ve made an incredibly fun and engaging game of it, one that I play alone for the most part. And I love this way of celebrating.

On January 9, 2021, as I declare Happy Birthday to me, I’ll mean it with all my whole, joy filled heart.

Holiday Flair mini retreat
Holiday Flair – I loved my mini retreat at home

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41 Replies to “Holiday Flair”

  1. You’ve come up with so many great ideas for your birthday; I agree that birthdays are ultra special, and so I also always make sure I’m doing something special for myself. And my birthday is in early January, so can get lost amidst Xmas festivities. (So, I celebrate my 1/2 birthday too!)

  2. Wow, so many wonderful activities that are really special. I love the idea of finding a tradition that ties into your heritage. How cool!

  3. Cindy, I wish we could meet in person! The plant-based plate looks delish! And hold up. You seriously can be a Lady in Scotland if you buy just one square foot of land? Ever since I did my 3rd grade ancestry report on my Scottish ancestors, I’ve felt called to visit and connect with the land. And then Outlander came out and now I really want to be connected to it LOL! I love all of your traditions and hope you have a fantastic birthday!

    1. It would be fun to meet! Yes! You can be a Lady with the purchase of a square foot in Scotland. I love that country so much. I visit as often as I can.

  4. I have been enjoying your adventures Lady Cindy, it’s a great way to keep the birthday celebration going strong.

  5. Wow you’ve come up with a great way to do birthday celebrations. Very creative and I enjoyed seeing all the different things you’ve participated in. Great job 👍🏼

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