Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Just being (instead of doing)

My family in our Christmas-decoration-less living room last night!

Let me start by saying that I am not an over-the-top Christmas-person in the first place.

I thought I was. Until I saw some of your Facebook posts and blogs and realized that some of you out there are CRAZY when it comes to Christmas.

Like nearly insane?

I read on one of your Facebook pages that you have 1,500 ornaments.

Is that even possible?

I have 1 large tub and 1 small tub of Christmas decorations. I thought that was a lot. But after hearing from a lot of you, I think I am now aware that my tubs are fairly scant.

That being said, I was still feeling overwhelmed when it came to the idea of Christmas. This was due to a myriad of factors including:
  • Our first year back in the US of A. Let's face it, Americans do everything "BIG" -- especially holidays.
  • A 15 month old baby whose main hobby is destruction (the boys like to call her the "human tornado.")
  • Knowing that that we were going to have my two 20 month old nephews here for the holiday.
  • Two weeks of planned visitors for the holiday (JB's sister and family and then my brother and family will be visiting this year -- with one set leaving and one coming in on the 26th.)
  • Eight people and one huge and perpetually shedding dog living in my house already.
  • The continued home education of my children.
  • Preparing to move to our farm four hours away in under six months.
My mother-in-law who lives with us is a Christmas fanatic. She loves all things holiday. She loves the decorations, the food, the company, the rituals. She is famous for creating a winter wonderland in her South Florida home. She does the whole thing and does it well.

So you can imagine how relieved I was when she told me it was "okay" to go easy for Christmas this year.

I had been feeling it since early November. Just feeling that I didn't have any extra hours to give. That I had done a very good job during my first six months back in America saying no and taking things in stride and not doing what people expected me to do but what worked for me to do.

I opted to put up a paper tree on our homeschool Bulletin board and hang an ornament a day. Our good friends Shane & Linda sent some Advent calendars to the kids from Germany. That really seemed like enough for me.

I meandered out to my tubs in the garage and pulled out the kids stockings. Hannah's still says "My first Christmas" and I think that is just fine. I hung them up on some hooks already on a kitchen counter.

And ... that was IT!

I wondered if I would feel like I had let myself down or let someone else down or let my kids down. But I didn't. I absolutely did not. Instead I have found an incredible weight lifted off of me. I did a Christmas card on the computer that I put on my Blog. I let mom put a tiny tree in the upstairs living room.

And instead, I put some time into making cookies with kids and going caroling and just being during the season instead of doing during the season.

Here are a few other blog posts I read that backed up my recent endeavors:

Why we simplified Christmas this year

Christmas Spending

What about you? Ever think about going easy on Christmas or lightening your load? I'd love to hear form all of you about how you cut some corners so you could enjoy being instead of doing.


Ryan and Sarah said...

For me, there's a happy medium. I've found joy this season in "doing" as well as "being". Decorating the tree and explaining our family ornaments to W was so fun. He helped me put out our nativity scene and we talked about the characters as we did it. Visiting Santa was a fun outing that we all enjoyed.

Don't get me wrong, this season has had stressors. And I think it's great that you have simplified and loved your holiday. But "doing" can be fun sometimes too!

Merry Christmas Kitsteiners...we love you all!

Sarah :)

Wendi Kitsteiner said...

Totally agree Stebbs. I'm looking for the medium. Lots of guests is wonderful but a lot of "to do" on the list.