I know that for many people Christmas is a very sad holiday. I personally know several people who have lost loved ones around this time of year and it is difficult to get in the holiday spirit. My grandmother (who I never knew) passed on December 22nd the year before I was born. Christmas is hard for my dad. He always puts on a smile for his kids and grandkids (and great-grandkids), but his heart is hurting. He loved his little Irish mama.
I am usually ready to start decorating our home before Thanksgiving. I am a huge Christmas fan!! I love the magical feeling of rightness and peace!! The feeling that people are nicer and more friendly. The feeling that for one small moment, all is right with the world...
But Army Man has firmly stated that under no circumstances will our house be decorated for Christmas before Thanksgiving. I'm fairly certain that he would be perfectly happy if we decorated the house on Christmas Eve and remove it all the day after Christmas!! Bah Humbug!!! I have used my powerful skills of persuasion to always be able to decorate by the first of December. He does have backup on this...my oldest son was born on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving of the year 2000. Thanksgiving is his very favorite holiday!! He LOVES it when his birthday falls on Thanksgiving!!
This year has been different for me...
With the incredibly difficult Fall my family has gone through, I am having hard time of getting in the Christmas spirit myself this year. I have not lost a loved one near and dear to my heart. But I could have lost something just as precious. These circumstances have given me a new perspective on Christmas. Yes, I still love all the hoopla, but us this year the hoopla will be minimal....the emphasis will be on relationships.
For the first time ever, we are on purpose leaving our extended family (moms, dads, brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, the "greats"). We are taking our family of five camping!!! Well, "cabin-ing", that is....We are going out of town (away from our extended families) to a cabin near the beach for the whole week of Christmas!!!
We are so very excited to simplify this year.
My family needs this time of togetherness to get perspective on those things that are really important. Even our Christmas tree is smaller this year.
Side note.....A small tree still holds the magic!!
I usually have 3' trees in all of the kids bedrooms and 2' tree in their bathroom and our regular 7' tree in our living area. I usually put lights on our very large porch (by myself)(refer to the 2nd paragraph)!!! I also leave my shopping to closer to Christmas day...I LOVE getting out in the craziness to do all of my Christmas shopping!!! I'm pretty sure it stems from my days of working in retail... ;) I saturate myself with Christmas music and movies.
I just wasn't into all of that this year....
BUT....I went ahead and put up one of the small trees in our living area. As I felt my kid's excitement and watched the joy on their faces as our space transformed, I just couldn't help but feel a bit of the Christmas spirit. They are truly an example of forgiveness, complete innocence, and joy!!!
I have begun my annual traditional Hallmark Christmas movie marathon!!! I DVR EVERY Christmas movie and watch them throughout the day. The cheesier and more romantic the better!!!! =) It has really helped get me in the groove of Christmas!!
I watched an older Christmas movie yesterday because two of my three kids were sick and we could not go to church. Actually, I watched two of them! It was "Single Santa Seeks Mrs. Claus" and "Meet the Santas" with Steve Guttenberg and Crystal Bernard. (I had forgotten how much I really like both of these actors!!). That was the turning point for me!!! I had already watched several Christmas movies with my kids, but this one turned the switch.... I heard myself humming Christmas carols this morning!!!
I've got my groove back!!! =)
I know it can not possibly be that easy for most people, but for me (the writer of this particular blog) it was!! I am happy to say that I am officially in the Christmas spirit!!! I am jamming on our TSO and other Christmas CD's (yes, I am old school and still use CD'S!)!!!
I am ready to spend some quality time with my family in a secluded cabin near the beach!!! I am ready to focus some serious time on my husband, my kids and my Savior--the only reason we celebrate this season!!!
Hope you all have a Very Merry Christmas!!!