Last week the turkey and stuffing were barely cleared from the table before my kids were chomping at the bit to get up to the attic and pull out all the Christmas STUFF. That Friday night I had my twentieth high school reunion, of all things, so I got all gussied up, patted them on the head, kissed my husband, and went out for the evening. They barely looked up as I walked out the door, since they were knee deep in red and green boxes and thrilled to pieces to be decorating (don't know where they get that from!). The next morning I stumbled downstairs, desperate for a cup of coffee, and this is the scene that greeted me just outside my front door:
I loved that Frosty looked like he had an even better time than I did the night before, that there were still pumpkins waving from the background, and just outside the picture frame there was even a rotting gourd sitting on the trunk.
Anyways, the whole thing got me to thinking about how easily we can make ourselves nuts at this time of year. You may already do at least one of these things each holiday season and don't even know it--
Want to hear my three simple steps?:
First, indiscriminately get tons of stuff out.
Second, put none of your other stuff away.
Third, pretend that all that stuff makes you feel happy, peaceful, and festive.
I have really been scrutinizing each thing I am getting out of those red and green boxes this year and making sure that I truly love it. It is too easy to get out all of the same decorations year after year, just by force of habit, and never take a step back to get some perspective on what it looks like, whether or not we like it anymore, or how it truly makes us feel.
Having extra stuff around is stressful, so take advantage of the empty Christmas boxes, and put some of your normal decor items away for the next six weeks. It will be like seeing an old friend again when the time comes to pack up all the Santa stuff.
Lastly, the point of all of this shuffling about is to make an outward sign in our homes that this time of the year is different. For those of us who are Christians, we are waiting for, and then celebrating Jesus' birth. For those of us who celebrate a more secular holiday, it is a special, festive time that is meant to be about being joyful and enjoying our family and friends. Make sure that your home puts you in a peaceful state, that you can put your feet up and enjoy the warmth of the fire or watch the candles glow. Be sure you don't feel crowded, cramped, or encumbered by that extra Christmas pillow on the couch that Aunt Judy gave you ten years ago that you never really liked anyway.
What can you do differently this year to make it a more meaningful and peaceful holiday?