Oct 3, 2010

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

I began my Christmas shopping months ago. Most people think I am completely insane extremely organized but it has nothing to do with organizational skills and everything to do with our limited budget. I simply cannot shop in November and expect to eat in December. I refuse to charge presents. It's cash only in our family.

I confess I go overboard because this is my favorite holiday. One year however, when it took us 3 days to open presents I realized I was out of control. I understand I am not the only person of the Christian persuasion who has been blinded by the twinkling tree lights and tinsel. Think about it. How did we get from the simplicity of this:

Photo from Google Images
The Nativity Story

to what this sacred season has evolved into today? It scrambles what few brain cells I have left.

Last year we began to do things differently. I can't remember who mentioned Christmas last year as being one of the better ones that we've celebrated. Maybe it's because I wasn't cowering in a corner under my Snuggie on Christmas Eve drooling on myself from the stress.

Fewer presents more thrift gifts more homemade. = less stress.

We will always maintain certain family traditions as this is what makes the holidays so much fun afterall. One of our family favorites was begun by The Genius years ago. The family viewing of Emmet Otters Jug Band Christmas on Christmas Eve is a certainty in our household.

When our Christmas cookie baking began to be too much I simplified to the Christmas Eve ginger bread house construction. Over the years the Genius and The Artist have taken this off my hands for obvious reasons:

The Genius and The Artist's take this tradition seriously

The Secret Pepper Person does not

We love to wander the neighborhood looking at lights.

The youngins' and I watch The Nativity Story to help us remember the true meaning of the season.
After all, we all need a reminder now and then.

Sorry Joseph!

So, what are your holiday traditions? And how will you remember the holiness of the season? I'd love to hear from you!

You only have 82 days left. But who's counting?

But before you begin to panic watch this: The Advent Conspiracy


Zoey's mom said...

The weirdest thing :Before I finished reading this post, I did a new tab and copied a link to give you and in a weird,not so much a coincidence I feel,I finished reading and you posted the exact link I was going to post:Advent Conspiracy!!!Can you believe that?

I post this link each year and we really try to do our part.4years ago we started going from oldest to youngest and each get to pick where they want us to donate a chunk to:Choices in years past:Invisible Children,Down Home Ranch and Reece's Rainbow.All really amazing,amazing causes.

I adore the holidays.We are super rooted in traditions.Christmas Eve Mass.Reindeer food on the front lawn.All of us,now there are 11 with son-in-laws and grnadbabies,all crammed in one of the little ones bedroon,with only a booklight,reading,"Twas the night before Christmas.Won't bore you with the rest.

This year I am starting shopping early so I can enjoy the season ... okay,so I have said that every year for the last 10 years running,but no matter,this year I really mean it.I'll let you know how that is working for me come December 1st!

As for Food Inc ... oh,boy ...we have seen it,a few times and although we eat organic and do our part to support our local farmers and local markets,this movie was an eye opener.Major.

ANewKindOfPerfect said...

Only 82 days? Aaaack! I better get shopping.

Island Rider said...

I have you beat. All my Christmas decorations are already out of the attic. Okay, I confess, we had to empty our attic to get it treated for termites. But, if it is only 82 days until Christmas, maybe I will go ahead and put it all out. ;0)

Kathleen Scott said...

I'm with you on the simplifying. Years back I started a gift shelf in the closet and bought things as I saw them through the year for my loved ones. Fun for me, not a stretch to the budget and if I'd been equally good about starting my wrapping on Halloween (my goal), virtually stress-free.

The past few years as the family has grown and everyone's budgets have tightened, that has morphed to a family name-draw plus those who want make something for everyone. The nutritionist makes to-die-for granola, one makes notepads, I make tree ornaments, using pictures of our sweet little ones. No rush, more pleasure. As you know, the real gift is love.

PS Love the pix of Genius & Artist with the gingerbread house.

debe said...

shoot me now

I am very very very very... not a shopper, I don't like to shop, really do not.

So now I don't

end of story

But we do have Christmas, because my girls come over and put up the decorations, me.. I couldn't care less about decorations..

I want the meaning, not the Martha Stewart Fireplace decorations..

Good for you all for trying to keep it simple...

Michelle said...

I don't actually like the Gingerbread tradition, unless there's alcohol involved. :)


Michelle: BYOB?

Michelle said...

It's all the drool that grosses me out, you know. :)


Best not to be sober for the drool?

Jennie said...

I confess I love the gingerbread tradition... what's not to love about the drool and how much it grosses Michelle out. It has been a good exercise over the years for me... one in letting go of my need for symmetry. It's hard to keep an alternating color scheme when a certain teenager eats the decorations faster than I can apply them with icing that is never the right consistancy :)

I forgot about last year's gingerbread with two fronts until this pic... I love the eyebrows... hahaha