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This is Not a Gift Guide

Sorry to disappoint you, but I have nothing to suggest for the gift-giving season that you haven’t already heard somewhere else. “Buy local!” “Experiences over stuff!” “Something to wear, something to read, something to monogram!” Ha! Just checking to make sure you’re paying attention.

I’m guessing you have either purchased everything you need for the holidays or you are currently running around doing so and therefore not reading this newsletter. Unless you’re on your phone in a big-ass line at the mall, in which case GODSPEED.

Anyway. I really do love this time of year, but it has little to do with the gifts. I love the season for its reflective, cozy vibe. I love the music and the twinkly lights. I love the extra coffee, chocolate and wine. But what I really treasure is that it’s the perfect time of year for being outside. Perfect if you live in Austin and, like me, prefer your weather chilly with a large side of sunshine. Springtime in Texas is nice, but give me 40 degrees and sunny, and I’m ecstatic y’all.

I recently enjoyed one of those perfect winter days. My friends and I had been scheming for weeks and finally found a day where all of us could play hooky from our lives—disappear from work and parenting duties for several hours IN THE MIDDLE OF A WEEKDAY. Because running is the common thread that bonds us, we headed to our favorite greenbelt and ran until we could run no more. That was our entire plan: run until we couldn’t and then eat tacos. We thought it was pretty brilliant.

The miles weren’t easy and my legs got heavy once we hit the double digits, but by the time I got home I felt lighter than I had in months. And it was fun! Our weird kind of fun.

It's so easy to forget that making time for lightness isn't just nice, it's essential. Especially this time of year when so much of the fun we have is layered with expectations or weighted by traditions. So here’s my advice: when you’re double-checking all those lists this week, make sure you’ve also included something for yourself that will fill you up or lighten your load. Set a date, keep it, show up. The rest will take care of itself, and I bet it will be a gift that keeps on giving.

Hey, maybe this IS a gift guide after all!
A few other things I’ve enjoyed lately…

• The backstory of a new, gorgeous children’s book.
Happy Winter Solstice!

Advice from a 13-year-old, delivered via a 10-year-old.
The latest Sibling Revelry Project

Still one of my favorite wintry soundtracks.
George Winston: December

Making, losing and finding a connection that was always there.
We Were Always West Texas Sisters

•Goodbye to: I’ll get it, He's not here right now, and It's for you.
How the Loss of the Landline is Changing Family Life
Thanks for your enthusiasm and support!
If you know someone who might enjoy this newsletter, please share!

Copyright © 2019 Elizabeth McGuire, writer/photographer, All rights reserved.

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