I hate Christmas, not the Christ part, just the shopping, cooking, decorating, make your list and check it twice part. This hatred was cemented when we lived in Canada and would make our customary pilgrimage back to the States to visit family, make all the stops and exchange gifts.
You might be thinking that doesn’t sound so bad. Now add shopping for gifts for people who you see once a year, 3 kids, a dog, customs checks, border crossings, snow-covered roads and the self-imposed expectation for perfection and you have the stress factory working double time.
Right now this my view from the couch. And you know what? I feel no stress. I am actually quit enjoying the sparkling lights, my fuzzy blanket and the dog curled up beside me.
You know what else? I bought a dancing Santa at Goodwill yesterday just because he’s fun.
How did I get here? How did that woman who just a few years ago was advocating an international ban of the holiday get to this place?
This is it:
I do it smaller, all of it. We take shorter trips. I bake fewer cookies (like zero this year). Visit fewer people. Do less shopping. Buy less stuff.
This is my life and I’m not doing anything I don’t want to, like baking cookies. I didn’t want to buy Christmas presents for my kids, so I didn’t. Really, I didn’t.
I actually glory in the imperfection now. Imperfection makes people feel safe and comfortable. If there are Cheerios on the floor or sticky tables it is just a reminder that there are living, happy, active children surrounding me.
I used to agonized over finding the right gift for certain people only to find it three years later still in the packaging and stuffed in the back of their closet. I don’t agonize any more.
Kiss Corporate Christmas Good-bye
I don’t need Toy-R-Us telling me what makes a good Christmas. I can figure that out all by myself.
Making people feel wanted, special and blessed is my new goal. Impressing them with a clever, crafty or expensive gift is not on my radar.
Make meaningful moments
Snuggling on the couch, decorating the house, trimming trees and reading the same books every year, these are the meaningful moments with my children that we all need.
I don’t want stuff. I don’t want trinkets. I don’t want little toys or things that will end up in next summer’s yard sale. My family doesn’t always get that. My husband doesn’t always get that I don’t want the stress of buying crap. This year he got it and I love it.
Some people have elf on the shelf. Not us. We have Stevie. Stevie was rescued from a yard sale box and some times his face falls off.
Center on spiritual things
There are so many spiritual things to focus on during this season.
- It is better to give
- Serve someone in need
- Rejoice always
- Give thanks
- Remember Jesus