Have a Good Christmas!

This month was hard. I have a built-in rest system where my brain turns into a ball of cotton fluff and I can no more put together a sentence, let alone a full blog post. So my plans for posts will have to wait.

When the introverted side of my personality becomes overwhelmed by social obligations resulting in my hiding in the bedroom under the covers after hosting a class party for forty kindergarteners complete with allergen-free snacks…

When taking a nap is the only cure for being worn out, both physically and emotionally, because the drama, I cannot take it any more, for the love…

When my ambitions and intentions are interrupted by car repairs (we’re a one-car family) and a flooding laundry room…

When my brain just wants to snack on pictures of animals wearing sweaters and past seasons of Burn Notice cued up on Netflix…

then rest is the only reasonable thing to do.

So I have been taking some time to distance myself from my computer and to-do list for long enough that the urgent things don’t feel quite so urgent, and I can get over myself in time for Christmas.

The bathroom renovation will not be finished in time for Christmas, nor will the backsplash, the entry light fixture, the bedroom, nor the office. The online work projects are paused. I was going to sew and hang all of our curtains. I took down the old curtains months ago, and our house has been curtain-less ever since. Sorry, neighbors. Maybe you’ll see us get new curtains next year because right now it’s the holidays.

Have a good Christmas, and I’ll be back to posting here at Small Notebook on Monday, Dec. 26 (assuming my brain comes back from its vacation.)

Thank you for reading here, and for being the most lovely readers that make writing this blog feel like a privilege instead of a job. And because I don’t want to keep a secret, the week between Christmas and New Year will be Beauty Week at Small Notebook for answering questions about skin care, hair, and makeup. (Organizing will wait until January, but there’s quite a bit of that too.) See you then!

About Rachel

I write about practical tips that will help you simplify at home. Connect with me on Pinterest and Twitter.


  1. You have had a full year, so rest is totally in order! Merry Christmas and thanks for making this blog a place we want to come back to!
    Juliette´s last post…Wrapping Gifts for the Post

  2. Rachel, I just love your honesty, self-awareness, and sense of humor. Brava for cuing into what you need and making it happen. You do such a service to the rest of us, in reminding us to do the same. Thank you!!!
    Have a wonderful Christmas!

  3. this made me giggle, as I have watched all of Burn Notice this month on netflix while knitting gifts to destress this month…great show! I hope you have a wonderful Christmas!

  4. Happy Holidays Meeks Family!

  5. I find it a relief when some blogs have breaks in postings- it makes me know the authors are human! Hope you have a very Merry Christmas!

  6. Snowflake pattern??? I love them.
    xo Jana
    jana´s last post…What I’m Reading and Why You Should Read it Too

    • I bought them on Etsy. I’m so glad they were already made because one time I tried to make my own and it took forever and I could not figure it out.

  7. You are smart to 1) recognize the need to take a step back 2) to actually DO it.
    We love your blog. We’ll be here ready to enjoy your posts whenever you are ready :-)
    Have a beautiful holiday and a happy, healthy 2012.

    -Kim from Philadelphia

  8. Thanks for sharing your life with us and enjoy some rest! Have a great Christmas!
    Elizabeth@ReadySetSimplify´s last post…Menu Plan for the week: 12/19 – 12/24

  9. I think you have captured perfectly how I, and I imagine many people are feeling right about now in the holiday season. So perhaps without meaning to, your blog is once again a great gift in reminding us all of what matters and how to simplify our lives. Thank you and Merry Christmas to you! I hope Santa brings you long naps and restful times with your family!

  10. Happy Holidays Rachel!

    I think we all need a break, but looking forward to the new year and your new posts!

  11. Merry Christmas!

  12. Merry Christmas Rachel, you are a blessing to me.

  13. Thank you for this wonderful place to come to.
    Have a very Merry Christmas and a healthy
    New Year!!

  14. Merry Christmas Rachel!
    Belinda´s last post…Farmer Dillo Paints His Barn Book and DVD

  15. Rachel – Go back to your post on November 18, 2010, ‘When The Lights Went Out’ and when you have finished reading it TURN OFF THE LIGHTS for an hour.

  16. Rachel – it’s okay to take a break. I just decided to do the same on my blog because I could feel the pressure building and I figured that MOST people have more than enough ways to fill their time over the holiday than read my blog anyway. ;-) I do miss your posts, but I hope you have a WONDERFUL, RESTFUL Christmas and we’ll see you when things calm down! Blessings!
    Carrie @ Busy Nothings´s last post…See You Next Year

    • I feel the same way, like taking a break in posting is a way to simplify people’s reading list at times.

  17. I hear ya girlfriend. I plan on some serious R&R myself. We have to change our oil from time to time. I’m seriously overdue!
    Lisa Medley´s last post…Winter Is For The Birds

  18. I’m new to this blog, and just want to tell you, Rachel, that so many things about it resonate with me. You are a blessing! I’m thankful for you and the time you take to write what I have a hard time even thinking! Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  19. This is my sentiment exactly. My coworker and I decided yesterday that we are no longer attending Christmas. Of course, that is not possible, but with all the stress that we have been experiencing… something needs to be cut out. Pronto.
    Kimberly´s last post…Save the Dates have been ordered!

  20. Merry Christmas!!

    I love Burn Notice :)
    Emily@remodelingthislife´s last post…On Messy Tables and Favorite Things

  21. No stress, friend! Don’t worry about what’s not finished. It’ll get done when it gets done. We just finished a room that we started renovating before my first son was born (he’s 10.) The foyer still isn’t finished. We just walk through it real fast! :-) Oh and we were curtain-less for a while too. We just got dressed in the dark. Everything works out in time! Merry Christmas!
    Valerie´s last post…Christmas school plans!

  22. So easy for me to think “everyone else” i.e. like you, has it all together. Grateful to hear the honesty, grateul I’m not alone! When I remember the very first Christmas…. suddenly, the rest of everything else falls into proper perspective. God bless us, every one. Merry Christmas!

  23. Merry Christmas to you too!

    Isn’t Netflix great? :)

    I hope your car situation resolves itself quickly–car troubles stress me out more than anything else.
    Jessica @ Quirky Bookworm´s last post…Maisie Dobbs

  24. Yay! I love the honest glimpses into your life. Thank you for sharing, despite the craziness. I hope you get a calm, stress-free Christmas!

    Merry Christmas, Rachel (and Doug, Lane, and Tom, too.) Even though we don’t know you, you are one of our favorite families. :)
    jennie´s last post…Our Simple Gift-Giving Tradition

  25. I must admit I had to look up Burn Notice as we are more into Foyle’s War, Downton Abbey, and the original (British!) Top Gear. (Hubby’s a Brit.)

    I did take your advice and had my mom order Charlie and Lola for the kiddiewinks for Christmas. Looking forward to that.

    I haven’t posted much lately either, and in fact, haven’t even downloaded the blinkin’ camera. Too much, too much.

    Happy Christmas to you and yours!

  26. Merry Christmas to you and your family! I can totally relate to so many things you shared, including Burn Notice in the Netflix queue!
    Tammy´s last post…Enjoying Christmas: Peace

  27. Merry Christmas to you and your family, Rachel! Thank you for your lovely, honest post. It’s nice to read about someone stepping back a bit in the crazy weeks before Christmas, instead of hearing about all the wonderful decorating, crafts, and cooking that people are doing. Of course, I enjoy reading about this stuff too, but I feel so far behind in being able to keep up with it!

    I discovered your blog this year, and have just downloaded a copy of your ebook which will be my Christmas holiday treat to sit down and read.

    Again, all the best for Christmas, Rachel, and also to my fellow Small Notebok readers :)
    Kim @ Extra Organized´s last post…Today’s organizing bliss

  28. Have a warm, nurturing rest and Merry Christmas to you and your family, too! See you on the flip side!

  29. Hi Rachel, thank you for all your great ideas and adventures this year. I really love your blog, its been in my favourites for years now. Have a great rest.
    Sara´s last post…Merry Christmas

  30. What a crazy year you have had… Enjoy the break I hope you get the heaps of rest you need and ignore the rest!!! We still haven’t got round to curtains – and we have lived here ten years!!! Seriously… “sanity replenishing rest” is so much more important!!!
    se7en´s last post…Sunday Snippet: Lots of Coloring Fun for Little People – A GiveAway…

  31. Just posted about a holiday tradition that I love–and I loved doing it–but I spent the two days after it out of commission. (And that was after I let go of feeling that I had to finish the wall with half-peeled off wallpaper.) I’m glad I said yes to our gingerbread party, but the aftermath helped me realize that all the “no’s” I’ve said the past month have been the right choice, too.

    Discovering your blog this year has been a gift. I look forward to more posts when you’re feeling ready to write again.

    Best wishes–
    Rita@thissortaoldlife.com´s last post…Gingerpalooza!A step-by-step guide for making memories

  32. I am the exact same way (re needed rest time) so I could totally relate to your post, Rachel. So glad you’ve learned what your body and soul need. A perfect time to realize it, too!!
    Love the sneak peak for next week’s postings (yay! girltime!) and am looking forward to it.
    Merry Christmas to you and your precious family.

  33. Everyone needs a good rest now and then. Enjoy and don’t feel guilty! We readers will be waiting for your return. Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

  34. Peace be with you over the holidays and always.

  35. As a fellow introvert, I can totally understand your need for escape. Rest well ~ and try to enjoy the holiday with your family.
    Melanie´s last post…little bit of Christmas kitchen decorating

  36. What’s all of this Christmas kindness? Rachel, get back to writing! 40-some kindergarteners? Full house renovations? Social gatherings that challenge your introverted nature? Come on- get typing!

    J/K. Of course.

    Merry Christmas and enjoy the rest from blogging. I daresay you’ve earned it.
    Katherine´s last post…Still searching for the perfect gift for your baby-mama?

  37. Sounds like a much needed rest is in order. I enjoy your blog and look forward to next year’s posts. Happy Holidays!

  38. I am the same way! All the extra social stuff is lovely but it really fatigues me. So I must rest and decompress to be able to function again. I have really missed you and look forward to your posts. I so admire your boundaries and your blog is so evident of your priorities in life, which I love!

  39. Merry

  40. Merry Christmas! Take your rest, give yourself a break, and many thanks to you on behalf of all the “allergy moms” out there (like myself) who so appreciate your taking our children’s health and inclusion into consideration. (I realize that was far from the point of your post, but I just wanted to say thank you.)

    • That was the main reason I agreed to do the party. I wanted my daughter with celiac and her little friend with a peanut allergy to feel included, and also to keep the classroom safe for them. It was so worth it.

  41. Merry Christmas to you and your family!
    Love your honesty. Get your rest. Get your brain back!

  42. I love your candidness! Merry Christmas to you and your family and thanks for sharing your thoughts and ideas all year!
    Kelly´s last post…Operation Christmas Child 2011-Processing Center Day One

  43. Do you read Katrina’s blog? If not, I think you will love her recent post.


  44. Ah that sounds so familiar. That is exactly how I would feel after hosting a party and ‘doing stuff’. My introverted side just crashes and I need weeks away from it all. The extroverts do not understand! God Bless your Christmas.

  45. Take care of you.
    Shelley´s last post…Hazel and Gingersnaps

  46. FELIZ NAVIDAD!!!! from Spain!

  47. Compliments of the season everyone, may all your dreams come true x
    Tasmanian Minimalist´s last post…Tasmanian Minimalist Is Moving Classroom ( Urk )

  48. Merry Christmas! I think you’re onto something. I’m stressing for no good reason; think I’ll take a nap today instead :)

    Looking forward to Beauty Week!

  49. Your honesty is refreshing! I hope your break is as well!

  50. I can relate to the problems making sentences. It seems to have set in sometime in the last week and half for me. Take care of yourself.
    Ryann´s last post…Rhythm

  51. I relate to your wanting to hide under the covers. I have a husband and a daughter with introverted personalities and it is easy for them to become overwhelmed. A book that has helped our family understand the advantages of being introverted is, The Introvert Advantage. I hope you have a Merry Christmas!

  52. And to you as well! Sounds like you need some much-deserved rest! Hope you thoroughly enjoy Christmas with your family!
    Kait Palmer´s last post…20 Weeks on the 20th!

  53. Yep, it’s good for us to admit “we’re only human” from time to time, Rachel. You’ve had a whirlwind year, and you’re settling down. Good for you!

    You got me curious about this Burned Notice, so I plan to check it out. We kind of got burned out (pun intended) on TV after LOST disappointed us royally.

    I enjoy reading your blog and I can relate to many of the things you post. Plus I’ve learned a few tips to boot.

    So here’s wishing your family a Merry *little* Christmas & your commenters too!

  54. oh my! sounds like you have had your plate full. i had a melt down the other day about the christmas cards i already committed to send out this year since we haven’t sent them for 5 years… but now that they are mailed i feel so much better! most of the hustle and bustle i actually enjoy. keeping my center by getting in the Word with my Advent reading plan this year. blessing to your family for christmas – enjoy the resting!
    Charis´s last post…12 tips for saving money on good food

  55. Rachel – rest, relax, re-energize! Enjoy the holidays with your family. Don’t give your readers any thought – we’ll be here when you are ready!

  56. Have a wonderful Christmas season with your family! And I agree with others…what is that snowflake pattern??? :)

    • I’m so flattered that you think I made them! I bought them on Etsy after a search for “crochet snowflake.”

  57. Blessings! And happy solstice! The longest night has passed!
    Rachael´s last post…Natural Parents Network Best of 2011

  58. Yes, sometimes rest is the only thing we need! I have felt overwhelmed this year & it has totally helped to take a few steps back. Merry Christmas!
    Audrey @ Mom Drop Box´s last post…Like the New Look?

  59. You and family have a great Christmas too. Thank you for a year’s worth of excellent tips. So glad I stumbled upon your blog several years ago.
    Donna´s last post…My Friend, Debra, Is Giving Away CD’s

  60. vermontmommy says:

    Gosh, I feel like this most years…since my kids started school. I wish I had been able to see my melt down before they happened. :) Kudos to you for knowing your limits and your needs. I am working on that… While I don’t enjoy getting older I do enjoy learning from the past and learning what works best for me.

    This is the first year in 7 years that I have not been a room mom. While not by choice, the job was taken before I was able to sign up, I am very grateful. I saw some of my Mama friends this past week and was every so thankful that I did not have the same look of craziness in my eyes. :)

    Rest, refuel and enjoy your family. Did you ever come up with a list of appetizers and desserts that fit your family needs? I remember last year a post you wrote regarding some new recipes.

    Happy first day of Winter!

  61. Good for you for knowing how to say no to your blog and turning your mind off to rest. I’ve missed your more regular posts, but you are a person with a real life, so we’ll all need to forgive you for not being a super hero : ) Can’t wait for beauty week, and especially organization in January!
    Jennifer Spadaro´s last post…Bookshelves