This year I’m finding out just how tricky it is to keep things in perspective at Christmas time. It’s awfully tempting to go all out on the preparations, the gifts and cards and trees and crafts and books. So much so that by the time Christmas Day actually dawns, we might be all exhausted, cranky and hiding under the covers.
Baking cookies is fun. Wiping down flour-spread counters and washing measuring cups for the hundredth time while sugar-high children go off in a tailspin is not.
Watching the kids light up when they open their gifts is fun. Being buried up to our eyeballs in stuff is not.
Getting a tree and decorating it is fun. Having to constantly guard it from the one-year-old and spend weeks vacuuming needles is not (that’s why we get our tree the second weekend of December, unlike most other people we know).
Christmas carols and readalouds are fun. Television commercials and radio ads that scream BUY BUY BUY! are not.
Having fun is fun. Stressing out over things for appearance’s sake is not.
I think we do a good job keeping the season low-key. We go into the gift-buying season with a set budget and we stick to it. We bake cookies, but not ten different kinds (so far all I’ve baked are sugar cookies, cocoa drop cookies and chocolate chocolate chip cookies–and that feels more than enough). We keep our Christmas music mostly instrumental and in the background (my favorite Christmas CD is A Peaceful, Easy Christmas). We do crafts but keep them simple. We read one or two Christmas books a day, and keep them varied (so not all about the Wise Men, or Santa Claus or reindeer or what-have-you).
I’ve had a busy weekend. Baked Christmas cookies. Decorated the Christmas tree. Attended a Christmas Tea. Sat through a rehearsal of a Christmas show. Took the kids to a party (birthday, not Christmas, but they still brought home candy canes).
But tonight I’m getting my head out of the red-green-and-gold whirl and going back to my writing. I’ve missed that.
How are you this Christmas season?