Usually I am in high mode for the holiday season. I have books wrapped for a holiday countdown, a jar of activities for the kids, a high maintenance photo session for the family, and am a ball of nerves.
This year, our efforts were focused on our Big Give which created less space and time for my usual flurry for the holidays. My family members have been in and out of the hospital, some of my family are without work or are having a hard time financially, and it has flipped a switch in me.
Don’t get me wrong, we are still doing things, but it is low-key and as we please. The photo session moved to our house this year as we decorated our tree and cookies. Our gift-giving was considerably scaled back and rather than my scheduled activities, we have just done things when we want to.
I have given myself permission to have a simple Christmas this year. I have given myself permission to make homemade gifts when I might have bought them. I have let my kids decorate the tree without fixing it. I have put out some decorations, but didn’t buy new ones. I didn’t participate in a cookie exchange and made cookies just for ourselves. I shopped online and allowed myself the pleasure of completely avoiding the mall this year. I wrapped gifts, but I wrapped with what we had on hand and kept it simple.
The hot cocoa is still flowing, the holiday lights are still enjoyed as we drive through the neighborhoods, the holiday music is still fa-la-laing. It is still as grand as ever.
And my holiday…well, it is still filled with unbelievable joy and tradition. And dare I say it? Peace. Just a little of that too.
Tradition & Togetherness. That is what it is all about, my friends.
(photo source: Brittani Renee Photography)