Thursday, December 18, 2008

What I Don't Miss

Michele has a great post on what makes her miserable at Christmas, and it has me thinking about what I want to do at Christmas and what I definitely don't want to do anymore. No, I don't want to turn Christmas into "buy nothing" season; some presents are nice and, while the boys get a great kick out of emptying their banks for Living Water each year, they also get a lot out of something under the tree. But otherwise, there are a whole host of things I've culled out of my Christmas routine over the past few years, and I am so much more relaxed because of it. Here is my list:
  • Set up the tree - but let the boys decorate it themselves
  • Put up a few decorations - but leave the outside lights to the neighbors
  • Bake for Santa with the boys on Christmas Eve day - but not for the neighbors or teachers or co-workers or anyone else
  • Buy some presents for my immediate family - but skip most of the adults (by mutual agreement), and rein in my urge to buy the boys 14 things each
  • Work out a present limit ahead of time with grandparents and hold them to it
  • Spend as much time at church as possible during Advent
  • Attend only one Christmas party
  • Make room for an Advent Conspiracy contribution in my Christmas present budget
  • Take as many spontaneous opportunities to do "Christmas" things that the boys and Husband want to do - for example, It's a Wonderful Life was on last Saturday night and we let One stay up to watch it. I gave up getting up for early church and we slept in and went to 5:30 instead
  • Use cloth bags for lots of presents to avoid spending hours wrapping everything
  • Rest on Christmas Eve day as much as I can, to be ready for both 5pm church with the boys and 11pm church with my MIL (a special present to her - no one else will go with her)
  • I did send tons of Christmas cards this year, but I used labels, put together photos from the past year rather than spend an afternoon torturing the boys into posing for new pictures, and ordered the pre-printed cards. Not the most personal thing, I know, but to me the pictures mean the most so I focused on that
I think there's so many things you can cut out of Christmas. Not just shopping and spending money kinds of things, but the activities that wear you out and prevent you from focusing on the few things you like best. Have a better Christmas!

Blessings, y'all.

1 comment:

SarahHub said...

These are great hints!