Over the years, I, like many women, have managed to get the magic of Christmas down to a science.
Science and a lengthy “to do” list, that is.
I baked. I shopped. I fa la la la la’d it all in order to make “perfect” memories for our family. In past years we have ridden the Polar Express, collected a new Christmas storybook each year, made Christmas crafts and cherished ornaments, and completely overhauled our Christmas decorations following the great basement dampness disaster of 2014.
Decking the halls
Like women in the world over, I deck the heck out of our halls. Somehow over the years we had grown to have five Christmas trees. Granted, some of them were small but that’s still five Christmas trees, each needing decorations and lights.
There were also countless window wreaths, snow globes, miniature sleighs, and at least eight tiny reindeer.
We have stair garlands, mantel garland, and ribbon galore. I have kitchen snowmen, bathroom snowmen, and themes for each Christmas tree. I truly enjoyed transforming our home into a cinnamon-scented glitter masterpiece.
I love Christmas
Sometime on the evening of Thanksgiving, I am ready to embrace everything about the Christmas season. I love decorating, I love shopping, I love family, friends and food.
I love the church services, I love the giving tree. I love the chocolates and cookies that blanket workplaces across the land.
This year, I just wasn’t feeling it. Oh, I was feeling the Christmas holiday. I just wasn’t feeling the excess.
I was excited about two of the trees. I felt no excitement about dragging out the rest. It took us three days to realize we put the tree together incorrectly.
I found myself not excited about the oversized Christmas balls that had graced our mantle last year. I was pleased to see our favorite ornaments, but I didn’t feel like lining up all the snow globes.
Keeping it simple
Instead, I had my eye on displaying the one that is most meaningful to us. Frankly I love the season, and the reason for the season, but this year I just wanted simple.
You know what? That’s okay.
This is the season and I gave a gift to myself. I gave myself the gift of imperfection.
This year, I am letting it be perfectly acceptable if everything is not perfect on Christmas Day. I’m even willing to let Christmas Eve slide a little.
If the original celebration was held in a stable, I think we can get by with a few less decorated trees.
We have beautiful decor and sparkling lights. There will just be a little less of it this year. I baked only our favorite cookies. Not fancy but we eat them as fast as we can bake them.
Taking it easy
I’m relaxing on Christmas dinner. It will have many of our favorite foods but let’s be frank, we aren’t exactly a group that is going to waste away if we miss a dish on Christmas Day.
I am watching my favorite Christmas movies, making plans with friends, attending church, and basically enjoying the heck out of the season without fretting about all the things I “should” do.
The funny thing? Even with a few less ribbons, less glitter, and less fuss, I’m finding the time spent enjoying the season to be pretty magical nonetheless.
As it turns out, letting go of the endless lists and quest for perfection make days pretty merry and bright.