So even though going into this season my story and situation is likely and hopefully very different than yours, I hope you breathe in the Christmas story like you would fresh cookies or a just cut evergreen tree. I want to send you a free pass to say “no” to the mo! (more) of Christmas, and yes to the “less is mo!.” If you don’t want to send 112 Christmas cards, don’t. Send just 12, or none at all. Trim your shopping list, cut out a few holiday parties, make the what you do matter instead of doing so much that you don’t remember or experience any of it warmly.
Noelle’s favorite word right now? More. Only it sounds more like “Mo!” which makes it so much cuter and easier to hear 3,512 times a day. It seems to me like the Christmas season can come on to some of us like a demanding toddler, always wanting one more cookie or sip of cocoa. And by cookies and cocoa I really mean our precious free time, money and sanity.
For as many Christmases as I can remember I have felt some ridiculously deep inner need to over book myself. Last year, for example, I committed myself to crochet everyone on my list a homemade scarf, and hand craft each Christmas card myself. We packed bags to celebrate Christmas out of town in Oklahoma City and in Michigan and were gone from Dec 17 – 30, and all this with a 7 month old. Disaster. It was too much. This year will be so much more low key.
I was talking with a friend the other day and she basically told me that being 36 weeks pregnant and having just lost my Mom, I pretty much have a free pass this year on any and all Christmasy bullets I would like to dodge. Since that talk I have realized that, yes I am pretty limited in my abilities this year, and there are many Christmas “norms” that I am not even going to attempt, because the odds are 97% certain that I won’t succeed. So this Christmas I am thinking less gifts, no Penny family Christmas card, and much more hot chocolate sipped while staring at my Christmas tree grove which may or may not even get decorated.
I was sitting in the bath tub this morning and I thought wow, I wish I could share this uber pregnant just lost my Mom free pass with all my friends. Not the sad grieving parts but the more peaceful moments by the tree parts. That thought was followed immediately by this one: Why do we have to be going through something extremely hard to set ourselves up to experience some healing Christmas peace? Why should I be the only one enjoying chocolatey, quiet reflective moments bathed in twinkle lights? So my answer is that I shouldn’t. I think we should all dig out our versions of the Christmas story, get to the heart of the matter and realize that Christmas isn’t about being busy or bowing to the never satisfied god of “more.” It is all about celebrating the freedom and salvation brought to our world by Jesus.