For the past … oh, I don’t know how many years anymore … I have had problems getting into the holiday spirit. Big problems. First, consider the fact that it was in the 70s today in Houston, 10 days before Christmas. Nothing says holiday shopping like seeing people out in short sleeve shirts and flip flops as they shop. Gets me in the holiday spirit every time. Next, there is the problem with just being too busy to get it all done – the past two years, I’ve had finals to deal with the first two weeks of December. Decorating a tree? Not high on the list of priorities.
This year, having the Yale Street Market on the first weekend of December and wearing our Santa hats while we spent the day out in the cold, nippy air helped some. But I still didn’t really have time to think about the holidays. I have to admit, I don’t like to put the tree up and the lights out right after Thanksgiving, so the fact that it isn’t up doesn’t bother me at all. It drives me crazy that Christmas appears earlier and earlier every single year. This year, we’ll be gone, so we’re not putting up the tree. Or I may set it up, but leave off the ornaments. Less for the cats to mess with while we are away. We are putting lights out in the yard, since it already looks like Christmas threw up on our street, and we don’t want to be the “dark house” on the block.
I don’t know, it just sort of hit me when I read Kristen’s post about failing at Christmas, which lead me back to Julia’s post about what Christmas would be like if she ruled the world, and S t a c i ‘s comments about her plans to make Christmas easier, and well… it sort of all rolled together in my head.
I’m not going to beat myself up about Christmas anymore.
– I like to shop in person, online just doesn’t have that same feel for me. I will shop wisely though, and shop early like I did this year. No stress shopping.
– I will wrap my gifts early too for a change. Matter of fact, I will be doing some of that tomorrow. No more staying up late, late at night on Christmas Eve wrapping presents.
– I will make handmade gifts. And while Jason will probably still get “big” gifts, I might just make the handmade gifts THE presents in the future. (Not this year, because I’m not ready for it yet.) We have plenty of “stuff” and don’t need a lot of “things” – so I will give things made with love.
– I will try to spend at least part of one day baking Christmas treats, and make a point of giving some of those goodies to others. – I will also consider all Christmas treats to be calorie free and not nag anyone (myself included) about enjoying a few more than they should otherwise eat. It is the holidays, so the holiday treats should be enjoyed. (Mike & Jason will cheer when and if they read this.)
– Christmas is not about spending crazy amounts of money. Or about the number of packages you open. It is about spending time with family. I will try to focus on that.
– I will mail Christmas cards. Once I find my address list.
– I will accept that sometimes those cards may go out late, and that is ok. As long as I get them out to people before the 12 days of Christmas run out, I won’t consider myself failing at the card sending.
– I will work to educate people about the fact that the 12 days of Christmas are AFTER Christmas, not before.
– I will spend time watching my favorite holiday movies, including Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and Miracle on 34th Street.
– I will also sing the “I’m Mr. Heat Miser… I’m mister HOT!” song a bit too much, but that is ok.
– I will put holiday music on and spend time enjoying it.
– I will celebrate the spirit of Santa Claus … GIVING without expecting anything in return.
* Most important of all, I will enjoy spending time celebrating with family and friends, with good food and good times. Because in the end? THAT is what the memories are made of.
Now where did my Santa hat go? I think I need to spend some more time wearing it…