Simplifying the Season
We tagged our Christmas tree today. Couldn’t take it home with us just yet…there’s some rearranging that we need to do first, before we can fit it in our living room. But finally we’re getting started on the holiday season. This afternoon, we’ll pull a few boxes of decorations down from the attic space. Later this week, we’ll take home our tree, and a few more boxes of decorations will come down then.
I love the holidays. I love the decorating, the cookie baking (and eating!). I love the endless loop of Christmas songs on the radio. I love the gathering together of family, and of friends that should be family.
I’m trying to let go of the stress, and the expectations that put a damper on the season. Every year I wind up panicking over gift giving — is it enough? Did I spend too much? Did I not spend enough? Will they like it? Is it the perfect gift? Over and over again, during each shopping expedition, over every gift for every recipient. I’ve brought myself to tears, I’ve worried and agonized and stressed, I’ve had buyer’s remorse, I’ve second-guessed myself. Every. Single. Year.
I can’t do it this year.
I won’t do it this year.
We have made a conscious decision to scale back on the holiday gift-giving craziness. Partly due to financial reasons, but mostly because of what it ultimately does to the holiday itself. We’re striving for a simpler holiday, with the focus back where it belongs: on family, traditions, and the true meaning of Christmas, rather than just on the presents.
We’re still giving gifts…although not as many, and with a smaller budget. We’ve talked with our families about our need to scale back on the gift exchange. And as far as shopping is concerned, I’m not allowing myself second-guessing this year. I’m letting go of the need to find the “perfect” gifts. Once a gift is bought, it’s getting wrapped and crossed off my list. No stress. No anxiety. No self-inflicted drama. I’m not allowing it to affect me like that this year.
We’re going to spend this holiday season beginning the traditions that we’ll be able to look forward to each year as a family, such as picking out our tree at a local cut-your-own farm. These are the moments that make memories, not the frantic search for the elusive “perfect” presents.