Sunday Sermon: Keeping the Holidays Simple

November 25, 2007 at 9:23 am 2 comments


I am feeling a lot of dread right now.


“Bah Humbug!”

This year, I am not excited about Christmas.

Almost every post that I read mentions wish lists, gift ideas, black Friday and decorating.  These are NOT motivating or appealing to me.

My kids are excited.  They cannot stop talking about Christmas.  My neighbors are excited.  They have their lights, wreaths, blow-up Santas and Christmas-light reindeer in their front yard.  And I still have my pumpkins out!

I know I should be thinking about what I should buy for my family. I know I should be recommending to you some fabulous makeup or skincare gift sets for under $25. But, I just don’t feel like it. It is not that I dislike Christmas or the holidays. What I dread is feeling obligated to increase my workload for the month of December. I try to keep it pretty basic, but fun for the kids. We all help decorate the house together.

I love the look and smell of a real Christmas tree, but we use an artificial tree because it doesn’t shed its needles. Last year I purchased a large container of plastic ornaments.  The little kids always pull the glass ones off and break them. By luck, no shards have ended up in their hands and feet. I place a nativity set on the floor by the tree so the kids can look and handle the characters. It is not an expensive set, and Mary had to be glued back together last year, but I love having them accessible to the kids so they use their imagination.

Our stockings are a motley assortment that have been acquired over the years as new children arrived, and I inherited my MIL’s Lady Stocking, bright red felt with fancy buttons and high heels.

The way I have chosen to decorate my house for the holidays is similar to my philosophy of decorating my house: eclectic, kid friendly, and no fuss.

We enjoy making spritz cookies together, the dough is super easy to make and with a cookie press, you can make a gazillion in minutes. It sure beats rolling and cutting and decorating sugar cookies.

My daughter Sarah is a sugar freak, and like her Momma, loves Chocolate. Christmastime is the one time I allow myself to make a homemade batch of fudge! I love to add walnuts to my fudge, but my kids don’t, so 1/4th of the pan is contaminated with walnuts, and the rest is left plain. The perfect strategy for my own personal fudge stash!

Evan always heats up a pan on the stove with apple cider, cinnamon sticks, and cloves. He doesn’t drink it, he just lets it simmer and smell up the house. He will comment on it throughout the day, “Doesn’t that smell like apple pie?” It really does.

Recently, I impulsively bought a pop corn kettle at Target. The reason being, we always make popcorn using the microwave method. I realized that my children have never experienced the fun of making popcorn the traditional way on the stove top. It has turned out to be a tremendous hit with the girls. And the popcorn tastes wonderful, fresh and buttery. We will probably be stringing some popcorn for our tree this year because of this as well.

As a holiday craft, we always let the girls stick whole cloves into apples and oranges. They can create their own designs with the cloves, and they smell so fresh and citrusy. Simple and yet wonderful. We put a bowl of them in the center of the table, or hang them by strings around the house.

Every year my church sponsors and volunteers at a local elementary school for a Christmas dinner and party for less fortunate families. I bring my oldest girls to help prepare, serve food and clean up afterwards. This is the highlight of the season for me without question.

Okay, this post is helping me. It really is. Sometimes I don’t think my family has that many traditions and then after writing these ideas down, I realize that we really do.

I am no Martha Stewart, not even close. Although I love good skincare and beauty items, it doesn’t consume my every waking moment. I really consider myself a pretty low maintenance type of gal. I sit here at the computer, with pajamas on, no bra or makeup on, hair flying in every direction, and little Rebecca on my lap.

What do I want for Christmas this year?
More Quality time and less stuff, yeah, that is what I want.

My goal is to keep it simple. Let me know how you are approaching the holidays. Grinches are totally allowed to participate.

Entry filed under: family, Self Acceptance. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. JaNell  |  December 3, 2007 at 9:09 am

    Thank you for this post. I was cruising the internet for advent ideas for my little ones as too “sit here at the computer, with pajamas on, no bra or makeup on, hair flying in every direction, and little Viki-Lee on my lap.” Bring on the Jesse tree, the cookies, and the clove-y cinnamon-y scents of the season. Don’t forget to play christmas carols we love so the kids will learn them too 🙂

    Merry Christmas Love!

    Reply
  • 2. jen38  |  December 3, 2007 at 9:37 am

    Great to hear from you JaNell! Sounds like we have a lot in common. Christmas Carols Absolutely 🙂

    Thanks for stopping by… and have a wonderful Christmas with your family, Jen

    Reply

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