*** i tried. i really, really tried to write a post about my feeling about christmas. below lies the ramblings of what i just couldn't completely draw out of my brain and vocalize. i have weird feelings about christmas. if you dare read below, you will see that. (or you will just see that i'm weird and be amazed that i've ever put together a coherent post considering how swirly my brain is.) because i want my time of trying to vocalize all this to not be a waste, and to make this productive, this is what i do know about christmas-time next year.
-we are going to celebrate a real advent. we are really going to prepare our hearts and minds. (ha. that will be interesting. "gosh darn it ben and max! you guys better shape up and prepare your hearts, or else...!!!)
-we are going to simplify gift-giving even more than our pretty pared down list.
-i will put my foot down and limit our holiday appearances.
-we fill focus our time and energy on family time and leisure. i'm sure tim can help me with the leisure part.
so read the rest if you want. but it might give you a headache.
i've been wanting to post, but it seems almost sacrilegious to not post about christmas when it's christmas time, and i really don't have a lot to say about christmas, or at least not things that wouldn't earn me dirty looks.
don't get me wrong, i think Christ's birth was a totally awesome thing for which i'm very thankful, and i enjoy how the holiday brings out the best in many people, but i really dislike what christmas from a consumer standpoint has come to mean. i really dislike the expectations, the stuff, and the hectic hustle of it all.
i know most of my feeling are my own fault, but they are still my feelings.
i miss the anticipation of christmas. as a kid my mom always did a wonderful job of decorating the house. (she still does and my boys LOVE looking at her decorations.) i don't decorate much because i 1.) don't want to spend money on decorations, 2.) don't like unpacking, repacking, and finding storage space for decorations, 3.) i'm lazy. each year i get a little better about it, but it's been a slow transformation. it's weird but a lil festivity around the house really makes a big difference.
but the real anticipation that i miss is advent. as a kid, advent was like lent-lite. we gave things up to prepare our hearts for Christ's coming. or at least that was the idea. really, i just gave things up, and then cheated, because that's what we were supposed to do. but it still meant something. and when christmas finally came, it was exciting.
yah know, what? as i write this, i keep trying to put my finger on why i feel so grinchy. i keep thinking about what christmas was like when i was a kid and how it's different. yes, as a kid there was a lot of anticipation before christmas and it seemed like it took FOR.EVER. for christmas to come, but really, deep down, christmas hasn't changed that much for me since i was a kid, because even as a kid, i was a brat about christmas. it was mostly all about the presents. i would hoard my stuff away, get annoyed when santa came for my little brother and not for the rest of us (what da heck, santa?!), and calculate who all i would get things from.
as a mother, i so desperately don't want that for my boys. but christmas has so much built into it that i don't even know how to break away. look at easter-the celebration of Christ's resurrection. easter is wonderful and joyous and i don't have to stress out for a month about what to get everyone, make all the appropriate easter stuff, and then haul my family around town until they are cranky, i'm beyond cranky, and we're all exhausted.
but like i said, i just don't know how to break away from it ALL. how do i not make a big deal out of santa, and yet not ruin it for family members who choose to. we didn't do anything santa-y. ben likes santa stories, but we've left it at that-stories. but all of my nephew's on tim's side still believe. and oh course, that's the first thing they talk about. fortunately, i don't think we ruined it for them. although, while i was talking on the phone to a friend about all this, ben, while playing with cars on the floor, said, "santa's not real". when i asked him more about this, he said, "santa's not real. he's at the north pole." i think i'm going to leave it at that for now. i will neither confirm nor deny anything.