I am yearning for a simple Christmas this year.
Something deep inside me is telling me that “stressed” is not a feeling that should come with Christmas every year. But it usually does.
Christmas comes and goes so quickly, almost like a tornado, and I am usually a casualty of its fury when it is gone.
Not this year.
I will NOT let it happen.
We are simplifying Christmas this year.
In the past, I have always gotten the boys 10-15 gifts a piece, plus stocking stuffers, for Christmas. Mind you, when they were younger, they were usually 10-15 gifts from the dollar store.
But as they have gotten older, gifts from the dollar store don’t cut it anymore.
So each year, it gets a little more stressful of how I can still provide a “big” Christmas on our little budget.
They are used to seeing a Christmas tree with a ton of toys stretched out across the floor underneath it.
(that’s not my tree. )
That is what I was used to seeing as a child. That’s Christmas, right?
Or is it?
I have felt like I would disappoint my boys if I did Christmas differently. If I scaled back a little.
But Christmas is not about presents.
I asked my dad what he usually got for Christmas. He said he would get one toy and a bag of fruit every year.
I asked him if he loved it? YES! It was a big deal, and he loved Christmas, and it was just as magical to him.
My brother and sister-in-law started giving their children 3 gifts each Christmas, like the Wise Men gave to Jesus. It sounded like a great idea, but I couldn’t imagine Christmas with so few gifts under the tree.
Please don’t think I’m crazy, but that is just not how I grew up celebrating Christmas.
But man, did it sound good. That would be fewer presents I would have to buy and fewer to wrap. Which to me, equaled less stress.
I told the boys about my idea, and to my surprise, they were fine with it. They have made a list of about 5 things they would like for Christmas, and Santa will pick the three he thinks they will enjoy or need the most.
I cannot tell you how less stressed I feel about Christmas this year!
I am actually excited about getting their gifts, wrapping them up, and being done.
They will still be getting stocking stuffers, which are totally fun to me. Those do not stress me out.
Another way I will be simplifying our Christmas is through fewer activities. There are so many events and parties during the holidays, and we often feel guilty about not attending every one.
Not this year.
We will say “no” to most of them, and just attend the ones that are the most meaningful to us. And I am going to spend more time at home coloring in our Christmas coloring books and watching Christmas movies with my boys.
Oh, and drinking lots of hot chocolate!
Jonathan and I went and saw the movie The Book Thief last night. The main character, a young girl who was adopted by foster parents in Germany during Hitler’s rule, was sitting in a cold basement with a small snowman while her “PaPa” was playing the accordion. When he finished playing, she sweetly said, “This is the best Christmas I’ve ever had.”
There were no presents or trees, just family and love.
When we left the movie, Jonathan said, “Mom, wasn’t it cool how that little girl loved Christmas so much even though she had nothing?” Then he said, “I think the Lord was talking to me through this movie.”
I smiled because HE spoke to me too.
This Christmas, I am going to be very deliberate about treasuring the simple moments that I share with the ones that I love.
And enjoy celebrating THE ONE I love the most!
As we enter this Christmas season, may God bless you and yours with lots of love and laughter!