For the past several months I have been taking a daily look at my Facebook posts using the app entitled "On This Day" which shows me all of the things that I have posted "On This Day" since I joined Facebook.
It's been every bit as good as a personal journal to see all of the things that have happened in my life that I thought were worth sharing or talking about with my Facebook friends.
The boys have grown up right before my eyes.
Traditions have perpetuated.
There have been some laughs. Some tears.
The fashion styles. House renovations. Aging. <grin>
As the Christmas season started to come closer, in November already, I started to notice a pattern in my posts through the years.
A constant moaning and sighing about Christmas.
The to-do lists
Every year, for years, I've gone on and on, publicly, about how I need to do better at Christmas, how much I want a peaceful celebration, how much I felt that better lists and better efforts at organizing myself would accomplish that for me and my family.
It became embarrassing to read.
This year, I decided to be quiet about Christmas and I decided to take action. I mean, really. Really take action.
So, I closed my public mouth.
And opened my private heart to hear what, in the scheme of all things Christmas, needed to stay and what needed to go.
Here's what happened:
- We spent less money, WAY less money on Christmas gifts
- Minimalist wish lists have been fun and meaningful and, while I've caught myself thinking that I should just pick up one more thing because I always do that, I find myself thinking that those kinds of gifts really don't mean a thing and become part of the clutter that drags us all down all year long. Ben, one day, said "Mom, don't bother to buy me _____ because I won't use it anyway" to which I replied "good, I wasn't planning on it anyway and THAT'S WHY OUR LISTS CAN BE SHORTER THIS YEAR!"
- The flip side of this has been giving gifts that are unanticipated because It. Is. Fun. To. Give. An. Unexpected. Gift. Amen.
- I didn't print out photos and send cards and write a Christmas letter and send it in the mail and via an email.
- But I did print a picture card that had bullet points about our year in review which made it an all-in-one type of Christmas greeting that didn't even necessarily require a signature which was win-win for me and they're been handed out and mailed for a couple of weeks so that's done and utilized the EASY button!
- Here's a shocker - I DIDN'T DO ANY CHRISTMAS BAKING!!!
- But today I get to bake my Christmas cinnamon buns for a leisurely Christmas morning breakfast tomorrow. Guess what? I didn't miss doing or eating the baking which makes me ponder all of the time and money that I've spent on this tradition other years?? Maybe this will make a comeback next year but apparently Christmas can come without it.
- We decorated the house.
- But not very much which means that I didn't have to box up a bunch of daily decorations to make room for Christmas decorations just so that I could box up the Christmas decorations and bring back the daily decorations......
- I made specific, and sometimes difficult, decisions about which Christmas events to attend.
- And only attended (or hosted) events that I REALLY REALLY wanted to attend. This was a biggie - and the measuring stick that I used was "does this event fill my bucket or empty my bucket?" And if it wasn't a bucket filler, we didn't go. I have to say that doing things that I really wanted to do with people I really wanted to be with filled my bucket rather nicely.
And so, ON THIS DAY, CHRISTMAS EVE 2015, I am finding myself being at peace with Christmas. I haven't wrestled an alligator to arrive on this day. I have arrived with a rested mind and a reasonably rested body.
I've also recognized something - a big part of Christmas for me is the anticipation and the preparation -
preparing food for guests,
the house for beauty,
and gifts for those I love
fills my bucket.
Fills my bucket so much that, here we are on Christmas Eve
and I'm done.
A couple of days ago, that notion of being "done" made me restless.
Today, ON THIS DAY, it brings me peace.
Because, after all, didn't the scriptures agree -
"Today (ON THIS DAY) in the city of David, a Savior has been born, He is Christ the Lord."
It was done. The years of prophecy and anticipation and waiting for the time of arrival came to pass ONE DAY. And brought us peace.
Merry Christmas, friends. May the peace of Christ be yours.
|Leave some room for the carols|
|Jesus, the only Hope for our world|
|Special letters, salvaged from "The New Way Bookstore" signage - spell something special this Christmas. Meaningful to the Dynna family!|
|Memories of a Christmas 2015 party with some amazing people.|
|The Dynna IV|
Christmas IS where THEY are
|The Christ Child|
Christmas is BECAUSE of HIM