Loving, Learning and Letting Go

This Time of Year

on December 10, 2012


This is my sorry attempt at Christmas this year.  I don’t know what it is, but I am just not in the mood to celebrate Christmas.  I feel like I just put Christmas away.  Now, I typically go all out at Christmas.  Every room in our house is decorated with about 6 trees, a full setting of Christmas china with a centerpiece, beautiful mantle, staircase decked out, nativity scene prominently displayed.  I am telling you it’s Christmas in every room.  And it takes a long time to do!  No one helps much with the decorating.  Alan will help outdoors, but Mary Cate would probably say she is damaged from helping me with Christmas in the past.  We’ve had many the fight untangling lights and putting up a Christmas tree.  I am sure I have scarred her for life.

So this year, I wanted it to be different.  I didn’t want to do it at all.  But Alan kept asking “aren’t you going to at least put up a tree?”.  I felt bad, so I caved.  But not completely.  I decided I wanted a live tree with big colored lights.  I don’t do colored lights.  This threw my family off.

Text to MC:  I think we’re going to get a tree tonight.

MC: oh, that’s nice.

Me: Yeah, I think we’re getting a live tree.

Phone rings:  Are you smoking crack???

I swear to you…she told her big sister while they were at the library that she needed to call me because she thought I was smoking crack.  Ha Ha Ha.  See, I told you, scarred for life.

I’m not against Christmas I am really not.  It is the most magical holiday, and the greatest time to thank God for His incredible gift that He sent to us.  Did we deserve this Savior..um no.  But He sent Him anyway.  But you see, Christmas these days has gotten away from that message.  It’s become everyone running around like crazy trying to find the perfect gift for the person who already has plenty.  My family…we have plenty.  It helps that we did some serious shopping around Thanksgiving time, but what do we really need?  We have each other, we have a home, food on the table, clothes (lots of them) on our backs, and MC is pursuing a higher education. We are content.  I don’t want to shop for that perfect gift for this family member and that  friend.  It takes my joy away.  This year most people will be getting a charity donation from us.  Seriously people, let’s do good with what we’ve got.  Do you really need another scarf, turtleneck, gift card, insert any other gift here?  I want to make things more simple  So I started with the decorations.  Even when I went into the attic to get some tree trimmings, felt no pangs to get the rest out.

I think another reason I feel this way around this time of year, is all those years MC and I spent alone at the holidays (and years I was alone b/c she had gone to her dads).  Christmas was such a rich time in tradition for my family growing up.  I loved every single minute of it.  Although, now that I am an adult, and realize how much work my mom did, I am not sure just how much she enjoyed it.   When I got married I thought these Christmas traditions would continue.  But of course he had his own family traditions and I was across the country from my family.  The first Christmas away from my family I cried all night long.  I was miserable.  Maybe that’s where it all began.  When it was just MC and I, we couldn’t always afford to travel home to see my parents, so we would spend the time alone.  Of course we have an awesome surrogate family that would have us over and that is great.  We still go there Christmas morning.    I  am still not sure of Alan’s family traditions, each year seems so different.  And we really haven’t made many of our own, outside of dinner on Christmas Eve, church, and then our friends on Christmas Day.

I also miss the magic in small children this time of year.  I love how excited little kids get about Christmas.  I miss that MC is not a little kid anymore.  I have enjoyed the kids at school and their excitement about the holiday.  One of the little girls I see often told me, with her eyes as big as saucers, the day after Thanksgiving break that the Elf was watching her and she had to be good.  That Elf on the Shelf thing is priceless.  But see, no little ones to share that magic with.

So, don’t get the wrong idea that I am depressed about this Christmas season.  I really am not.  I just am learning to live it a little more simply, and enjoy the magic of the season.  So if you get a charity donation from me, tell me you love it!!!

Merry Christmas!!  Really!!!


And maybe the magic of the Elf just might appear!!  : )


2 responses to “This Time of Year

  1. Denise Fox says:

    I enjoyed reading this. Thank you for your thoughts, many of which I totally agree with.

  2. Peter Fleming says:

    A real tree? . I’m kind of with you on the Christmas thing in many respects. For me Christmas has been (since adult hood) about spending quality time with family and friends. The whole gift giving thing is totally overblown. Average gift that I give is less than $25 in value, and none of the people I give gifts to are really hurting for anything, so I find myself approaching the “Bah humbug” status of my dad.

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