Sunday, December 5, 2010

Taking Back Christmas

I've "written" this post in my head so many times over the past month. It always sounds good until I sit down and then I'm speechless. But I feel it so much in my heart, I've got to write about it.

I haven't enjoyed Christmas the past few years. Yes, I said it. I've been a Grinch. I've stressed and stressed, tried to cram too much in, tried too hard to find all the "perfect" gifts, and probably made Christmas less fun for my family. This year I was bound and determined to take Christmas back. Take it back to the time where it was magical to me, where I could enjoy it, revel in it, find meaning in it.

I remember Christmas Eve at my Grandparents house, sitting on the landing at the top of the stairs with my cousins. We'd be looking out the windows just watching for a glimpse of Santa's sleigh. THAT was magic!

Sleeping in my brothers' bunk beds with him so we could talk about Christmas morning and wake up together the next day to peek out in the living room before waking mom and dad. Magic.

Going downtown to the old JCPenney store building to see Santa, Christmas programs at school, live nativities, Christmas carols, making handmade ornaments, giving to others, baking cookies, the list goes on. I want my kids to grow up and look back at their childhood Christmases with fondness and love.

I've made some changes this year. I hope everyone is ok with them. I'm spending less, buying less and focusing on things more important than gifts. Honestly sometimes I wish gifts weren't even in the equation. We do not want for much, our kids have too much, our house is full in every aspect of the word. My kids aren't even asking for much this year, they don't want anything. The focus is on the other aspects of the season.

Do you know what? It's working. With the exception of a few things breaking down around the house, I've been calm, relaxed, and loving this Christmas season. My family is too. We are slowing down and savoring time together. Christmas movies, hot chocolate, game nights, decorating, family and friends, GIVING, taking time to appreciate the beauty of it all. Amazingly my Christmas shopping is almost done, cards are in the mail. The rest will get done in due time, I will NOT stress over it. I'm going to enjoy all of the fun things we have planned this month. It will all fly by as it always does but this time I will be taking it all in and not be stressing over all the non-important stuff. We are so incredibly blessed. Todd and I have seen things this year that reiterate that over and over to us. We try so hard not to take what we have for granted. We have love, laughter, and health in our lives. What more do we need? There are too many people out there lacking in all 3 of those things. I want my kids to know and appreciate what they have. I want them to see the true meaning of Christmas.....Jesus' birth, giving to those less fortunate, and of course Santa. I know the Santa days are dwindling for us. I want to keep that alive as long as possible also.

I hope everyone else can enjoy this Christmas season also. Find the beauty, find the magic, spend time with family and friends, go to Church, focus on others, listen to Christmas music, watch the classic movies of the season, enjoy the lights, anything that puts you in the Spirit.

What makes Christmas "magical" for you?

Friday, December 3, 2010

It Was Just A Matter Of Time.......

Really, do you expect anything less from our house?