Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Christmas. I love Christmas trees and hot cocoa by the fire, and snowy nights with no where to go and Christmas music. And baby Jesus in the manger. And Santa. Even Santa, but what I can do without is everything else that makes this season the most stressful time of year.
Why is decorating always so stressful? Because who has the time or energy? And the thought of doing all that work for a month or so is crazy! (That’s why my stuff stays out til mid January.)
So when my kids came to me saying they didn’t like the hodge podge tree filled with ornaments I collected over the years, and they wanted a pretty tree, I balked a little, then thought…SCORE! The last couple of years they’ve been decorating the tree without my help, but I end up wrapping all those priceless ornaments and putting everyone in its place. This year it’ll be easy cleanup, especially since I didn’t put out every single Christmas decoration!
While I LOVE gifts, I hate the stress of choosing and buying and wrapping and returning gifts. Nowadays kids come to you with their list and we spend the time searching for just the right thing to make our little “angels” happy! Whatever happened to the surprise gift under the tree? Now not only do kids (and adults) get what they want, they get more than they want (or need)… really? Is that what Christmas is all about?
I’m so down on the whole gift giving thing this year that most of my kids will probably get their gifts before Christmas (yes, I still give what’s on their list and maybe this makes me a hypocrite, but I’ve learned to pick my battles…) because what is the real point of waiting? Yes, there will be surprises under the tree, but why wait when the kid have the make and model of the thing they must have (then play with for 6 hours and forget) and they have done the research?
Do people actually do this anymore? I really would LOVE to if there was more time (see next category) Thankfully, I have a son who is more talented in the baking department than I am, and lets me know it every time I say, “Do we really need that ingredient?” or “I’m sure I can find a substitution.” Needless to say, he’ll be doing most of the baking again.
Talk about stress! I think I’ve aged ten years this holiday season. In the last 2-3 weeks my four kids have been involved in:
A Christmas Story (Community Theatre) with a 6 show run (in which my son was called to understudy Flick, a part he hadn’t even rehearsed an hour and a half before opening night. BTW, he rocked the part!)
White Christmas (high school musical) where my oldest was the lead and 2nd son had a part in the chorus. I attended 3 of the 5 shows with various other family members at the others.
One Cello Performance at the Mayor’s Home in which 2nd son had to rush from the last performance of White Christmas to the mansion, but what an HONOR to be one of two students chosen!
Dance Troupe performances 6 or 7 performances over 3 weekends, 2 of the weekends which coincided with theatre productions and 3 of those performances this weekend!
Piano/Drum recital during the White Christmas weekend
Youth Symphony Performance
Extra Cello concerts to close out the year including Open Concert this Friday night (which by the way is invitation only and I’m very proud of my son)
and I’m sure I’m forgetting half a dozen other things that where a blur these last couple of weeks…but you get the point! It’s enough to get any God fearing Christian to yell ENOUGH! Is this what Christmas is all about?
So when I say I hate the Christmas season, what I’m saying (as if you couldn’t figure it out) is that I hate all the STUFF that comes with the Christmas season. Even Christmas Eve and Christmas Day tend to be a whirlwind of activities.
My favorite part of Christmas happens from the afternoon of Dec 25th through Jan 30th. That quiet, nothing-to-do time where we really get to connect as a family (if our new gadgets don’t get in the way.) It’s a time of welcomed rest and in that rest I think that is where we can find and really enjoy Christmas!
May you find that rest in Him this Christmas season!