Recent Posts

Monday, November 30, 2009

An Uncomplicated Christmas

This year I would like to have an uncomplicated Christmas...simpler, happier and without any undo drama or stress. That's not to say that past Christmas's have been unpleasant. Quite the contrary. Our family Christmas's have always been joyful and merry but they have been complicated. I generally spend at least a solid week decorating the house inside and outside and then tweaking, tweaking, tweaking to get all the gala holiday decor just perfect. But before the decorating can even begin, I must head down into the basement, find the ten huge bins bulging with Christmas stuff and haul each of them upstairs. After hours of unpacking every item, it's finally time to decorate. Once the house is festively adorned, it's time to invite people over. What's Christmas without a jolly party? Each year we have several holiday gatherings which although they are loads of fun, they involve lots of preparation, buying food, cooking, cleaning and a great deal of effort on my part. Can't forget the Christmas cards...selecting them, spending hours writing personal notes inside each one, addressing all of them, buying stamps and sealing every card. Then of course, there is the holiday gift buying. Shopping, shopping, shopping, wrapping gifts until my back feels like it's broken and standing in line for what seems like days, at the post office to ship off boxes. Oh, did I mention frantically sprucing up the guest room and then racing to the airport to pick up overnight guests? Honestly, the holidays can be exhausting.

Now don't get me wrong. I'm not bah-humbugging Christmas. I love this glorious season and I usually enjoy all the gala extravagance that the holiday entails. However, this year, our family situation will be quite different from years past and I'm thinking that it might be the perfect opportunity for us to celebrate Christmas in a much simpler fashion.  This year our daughter who lives in Florida will be giving birth to her second child two weeks before Christmas. My husband and I live 1000 miles away. We'll be driving down to be there for the big event and to help out with our three year old grandson, Cooper.

So I'm thinking that this year, our family should embrace the real spirit of the Christmas season. The humble and peaceful setting of the Christ child's birth should remind us of the true meaning of this holy season. Afterall, the birth of our own brand new baby grandson will be the best Christmas gift of all. We don't need to buy a ton of presents like we usually do. Of course my husband and I will buy some fun things for Cooper and several items for the newborn. But the two of us don't need anything and I've told my daughter not to buy us any gifts. Being with their family is a gift in itself to us. I eliminated decorating our home up North because obviously we won't be there.  Our daughter's living room will boast a beautifully decorated 12 foot tall tree put up by our hard-working son-in-law. But we won't be throwing any extravagant parties, cooking and baking like maniacal Paula Dean wannabes, entertaining dozens of revelers or shopping til we drop. Instead, the tropical sunshine will provide us with warmth, brightness and sparkle. We'll be happy to trade the dreary, lifeless trees of a Northern winter climate for the swish of swaying green palms and the enticing fragrance of a fresh sea breeze.

This year, I'm hoping it will be a calmer, less extravagant and more contemplative Christmas for our little family. It's not like we'll be imposing draconian measures and not celebrating the holiday at all. It's more like downshifting a bit...lowering our gears and our expectations so we can see beyond all the holiday glitz and glamor and discover what Christmas is like on more simple, less complicated terms. Who knows? We may prefer the old extravagant ways. We may find that we like all the holiday fuss and frolic afterall. Or perhaps this year, our hearts will glow with an inner serenity and spirituality that sometimes get overshadowed by the hoopla of holiday frenzy. It may be a slightly less complicated Christmas but we won't feel deprived. We'll all be together including our son who will join us. We'll still enjoy laughter and music, good food and the pleasure of our own company. We'll be filled with happiness with all of us being together and thrilled with our precious new bundle of joy. Isn't that the way Christmas is meant to be celebrated?

Yah, right...good luck with that, laughs the evil grinch on my shoulder. Let's get real. Perhaps my hopes for an uncomplicated Christmas sound way too sweet and sappy, too pollyanna. Well, who knows? We'll try our best to make it happen. Stay tuned. Our road trip to Florida begins this week.
Sphere: Related Content


Sarah said...

have a great trip and a wonderful christmas. i quite agree - it's time to simplify things.

Respectfully Yours said...

Safe trip. Sounds like a wonderful Christmas full of blessings.

Raoulysgirl said...

Have a wonderful trip!

I, too, wish for an uncomplicated Christmas. With my immediate family...and my sister across the street, it may actually be possible! However, once you start factoring in OTHER family members, all bets are off.

That ONE day...thankfully, NOT Christmas enough to spoil the holiday for even the jolliest of souls. Think I can call in sick???

Marla said...

I am so with you on this one!

Related Posts with Thumbnails