One of the happiest of my days in 2008 was on Thanksgiving. I got up early, packed a lunch and drove alone to Stinson Beach via the rain forest on the north face of Mount Tamalpais.
Boy, did I catch a lot of crap from family members for "opting out" on THE big American Holiday. But I was in dire need of a day just for me: a slow drive playing my own music (French cafe songs and Bach) through the lush green of the mossy trees and rocks, the fog shreds drifting over the heavily wooded hills. At the end, like the treasure at the end of the rainbow, the sea with a fairly clean beach. I enjoyed that day immensely. Then it was back to a hectic schedule and trying to figure out a more balanced life for myself. in the coming year.
At Christmas, I gave in to family wishes and spent the day at my house with my grandkids making decorations for my last-minute tree and trying to keep peace with battling factions. It worked out fairly well. I bought the kids a camping tent so they could have their own "clubhouse" where no grownups are allowed. The tent takes up my whole dining room, and my grandkids' "babies" (all their stuffed toys and animals) are inside but it keeps them from being too bored on rainy days when we can't go out.