Re-thinking Christmas.

8:57 AM


   Does anyone else feel like it takes them most of January to just RECOVER from the madness that is December??! That is the way the past month and a half has felt for me.  

I am starting to rebel, deep, deep down inside, from the way we "do" Christmas.  

   From the decorating every square inch, to the cookie making, to the caroling, to the gift wrapping, the hosting, the dining, the partying, the snow playing, the advent following, memory making, the card sending, the tradition starting….it all seems like it should be so fun and wonderful and perfectly magical, but the truth is, it just ends up being a whole lot of stress and a whole lot of work.  

Turns out I can be a real Grinch.

   The reason I am starting to dislike it all so much is because I feel like all of these things that are supposed to ADD joy and peace and love and good times to me and my family around the holidays are actually starting to SUBTRACT from it all.  Distract.  And I just don't want to let that happen, whether it be over a holiday or any other time in my life.  When something is start to steal away from the real meaning of Christmas and what it is really all about….it should probably change.

   I mean, don't get me wrong, I LOVE Christmas!  And all that it entails.  But I've recently discovered my love for it withering away and it has me scrutinizing what might be the culprit.  I read somewhere, (sorry blog, I would link you, but I have no clue where it was!)  that we get so tripped up on thinking that ALL OF THESE LOVELY THINGS must be done, within each home, and within each family, to TRULY be celebrating Christmas.  And I'm sorry, but I just don't think that's possible.  

   Take the thief of comparison, for example.  This post (I can't remember whose) went on to talk about how your friend Sandy might be excellent at baking and maybe your neighbor wins the "Christmas Light Fight" year after year, and your cousin Suzie hand sews every gift she gives, etc.etc. but that doesn't mean you have to do all of these things!  These people are usually just excelling at ONE THING.  But we read all of the blogs and we assume that somehow, we're supposed to be doing ALL of the things.  Hello?  Makes no sense at all.

   Just choose a few things (or better yet, one thing) and make it YOURS.  Kids love tradition, but that doesn't mean they need 52 traditions.  Choose a few that are your families, and protect them from things that try to creep in.  I will be the first to say that I have not done a good job of "protecting Christmas" for my family.  Busy-ness has crept in, materialism has crept in, and competition and expectations and peer pressure has crept in.  

But I'm ready to say "ENOUGH is enough".  

pics via here

   I have high hopes for the Christmas of 2014.  I truly want to be more intentional and not let December happen to me like the steamroller that it has become.  I want to take back Christmas.  As dramatic as it sounds, that's exactly what I want to do for my family.  And however that looks for your family….great!  It will probably look different than mine, and that is fine and dandy.  Because what a pity if it all looked the same!  

   So what are some of your thoughts?  I'd LOVE to hear from you some ways you keep things simple during December, ways you celebrate Christmas with your family to highlight the season's true meaning, and anything else you may have on your mind.

Merry Christmas everyone, I've finally caught my breath enough to say it.

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  1. I hear ya! I feel like I say "no" more in December to more fun opportunities than I ever receive all year long. It's not that I don't *want* to accept them. But you're right ... I have to be purposeful and intentional about what I include. I try to include things like letting the kids cut out & decorate cookies for all the neighbors, making cards for Grandparents, singing at the nursing home, and maybe making gingerbread houses. Simple things that help my kids focus on giving. =)

  2. Good thoughts. It's about quality over quantity, and if you can have both, awesome! If not, go for quality! I'd rather have two really special traditions or activities then aaaaaallll these things to do or see or have on a holiday. Quantity can drown out the special-ness of an occasion really quick.

  3. You could even go a step further (tho I don't) and say that because the Christmas celebration itself isn't ordained in the Bible--any more than celebrating Jesus' miracles for a month, or his parables--that we don't even have any duty to keep the true meaning of Christmas, never mind all of the cookie-making and decorating...

  4. There's no way I could even remotely do all the stuff I see people doing at Christmas! Ha. We usually will make gingersnaps, at some point in December. I'm not locked in on when. Just whenever we get the time and ingredients. I put up the tree after thanksgiving. I hang up cards as they come in and I put a wreath on the front door. That is the total extent of my Christmas decorating. It doesn't take that long, It's enough to enjoy and quite frankly we don't need any more than that! No bedroom/kitchen wreaths here. ha. Maybe someday, but if we don't get there I'm not gonna cry about it.

    I stick out an advent wreath with candles, that the boys get to light each night during prayers. It's like a 4 minute set up.

    We do Christmas Eve with my in-laws and Christmas Day at home, and we go to Church Christmas morning. That is the sum total of our Christmas activities.

  5. i wanted to comment on this post when i first read it but i was on my phone and would rather wait for my laptop that is so much easier to comment on, but well.. in my old age i get more forgetful ;) and i had tons of things to say about it all originally, but now i'm just gonna say, amen and amen! which was pretty much the sum of the comment i intended in the beginning anyway!! :))

    excellent post. totally agree!


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