Surviving Christmas.

Dec 22

Surviving Christmas.

Christmas Eve is just  2 days away, and here I am in my PJ’s, totally relaxed.  What’s up?  Normally at this time of year I’m frantic!

I grew up in a home where Christmas was “where it was at”.  Martha Stewart had nothing on my mother for decorating and baking!  We usually had hordes of people over, and we were also involved in everything the Church or School had to offer.  It was a whole lot of fun, but crazy stress!

When I married a man whose Christmas consisted of a small white tree with 6 blue balls, set up on the fireplace mantle, the Queen’s speech, and dinner, we hit a moment of conflict.  Actually, it was several years of conflict.

It would have been ok if I had had a single domestic bone in my body, but I don’t.  My giftedness is all much more impractical (and fun!) than that!  So creating a Christmas like my mother’s was incredibly stressful.  I was usually in tears and/or screaming by the time the “big day” arrived.

I decided for the sake of our marriage to pull WAAAAY back.  Later, a financial crunch caused us to pull back even further, and now we’re at a place where Christmas is fun, but totally not stressful.   Here’s how we do it:

  • We only purchase gifts for our immediate family – no friends, no extended family.  It just gets too costly!
  • We decorate, but minimally.  Just enough to make everything cheerful and special.
  • I don’t bake.  We purchase special items and/or receive them from friends.
  • My mom (bless her) does Christmas dinner because that’s what she loves to do.  If she’s not able/willing/around to cook, we do Raclette, a simple – but special – meal we discovered when we lived in Europe.
  • I don’t do cards.  I try and get everyone I know to join Facebook, and we keep in touch all year long.

I’m sure my list looks next to sacrilegious for many of you.  It was hard for me to get used to it, myself, but the trade off is SO worth it!  For us, anyway!

What we DO do, is volunteer for Christmas Eve services so that those who are crazy and stressed can have some time off.  This usually means we’re busy all day on Christmas Eve with rehearsals and involvement in a minimum of two services, but that’s a whole lot of fun for us!  We also take time to read stories, or listen to audio books (this year we read “Night Watch: A Long Lost Adventure In Which Sherlock Holmes Meets Father Brown“) and we ALWAYS listen to the audio production of “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” – hilarious and touching.  Best story ever written!  We drink lots of hot chocolate, watch movies, play games, just stay quiet.  It’s great.

I’m not even walking.  It’s -20 and colder these days.  The windchill can get as high as -30.  I’m just not interested, and I’m not letting it stress me out.  Rest is healthy.  When our faithful Chinook blows in sometime after Christmas (I hope), warming things up and melting the ice, I’ll get back out there and pound the pavement.  Right now, I’m going to stay in my jammies and drink hot chocolate.

You’re welcome to come over and join me!

Darlene

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