Christmas time is coming like a child hopped up on candy canes. We have our Griswold family Christmas tree firmly planted in its plastic base and every type of ornament somewhat secured to its branches.I would be lying if I told you this is my favorite time of year. The Christmas season comes in a firm second behind Halloween. Halloween is simple. Buy candy. Make Costume. Exchange candy. Eat kid’s excess candy. Hate that I gained five ‘chocolate’ pounds.Christmas is an entirely different ball of taffy. First, it’s not just one day or one week. It’s at least a month of planning, decorating, buying, and talking down children from the ‘When is Santa coming?’ cliff. Second, the thought of wrapping hundreds of pint-sized gifts, baking enough cookies to feed at least three unfed armies (and let’s be honest, most of the cookies will end up as fat deposits around my bottom), and trying to keep my children’s hands off of the thousands of tiny glass ornaments that sit around our house; well it all makes me want to scream—not much, just enough that the neighbors can hear that I’m losing my mind. Do you think if I do they will come wrap presents for me?
I’m not the Grinch. Nope. Far from it. Okay, not far from it, but I swear there are things I love about this season. I love…Hmm…I got it! I really love Christmas Eve (which is the night our immediate crew unwraps presents and my side of the family comes over). I love watching my kids’ faces perk up when I tell them they finally get to unwrap their presents (which they’ve been begging to do for the last month). I love the laughter that my family shares as we sip well-spiked drinks and tell old stories. I love the feeling of being together and the love that we have for each other.I love Christmas day a little less, but almost with equal zest. This is the day we make the run a few hours north to the in-laws’ house. If it weren’t for the waking up at 4:00 a.m. to unload our stockings I would love it possibly a little more, but let’s face it—I’m not a morning person and travelling with chocolate-filled heathens makes me want to walk the two hundred miles instead of being cooped up in a car with them.This year, in lieu of becoming the Grinch, I’m rebeling. I’m not entering a department store to shop. I’m getting all my shopping done in a matter of days instead of weeks (I hope). I will buy only the things necessary to let my loved ones know that I care. I will not buy a single tie, all-in-one tool, or desk organizer (wait…if anyone has me on their list I could use one of those). I will buy no animal-shaped chocolates that aren’t intended for my kids. I will not eat my kids’ candy (or at least not more than three—no, make that four—pieces). I’m starting a new tradition. I’m thinking about calling it “Christmas of Less.” There will be no stress. No unnecessary buying. No ‘I want that’. I instead want us all to remember what the holidays mean to us. Is it about the stuff? Is it about the million twinkly lights (don’t ask my husband that question—see Griswold above)? Is it about the consumer-centric attitude that accompanies it? No. It’s about the simple things. Love of children. Love of Christmas. Love of family. It’s about the memories shared and memories made. It’s the moments we cherish.
So this holiday season I want us all to take it easy, cuddle up with a book, and enjoy the holidays.Merry Christmas (of Less)!