The turkey is nearly forgotten but the fellowship with family still lingers in the air. My Christmas tree is up and decorated as is the rest of the house. I really had no intention of getting my decorating done this early but Husband gently and wisely nudged me to do it.
There is still shopping to do but I think I am going to try and do most of it on-line and since the budget is very tight this year there really isn't much to do.
I'm debating about whether to send cards or not. I hope I don't sound scroogy. I have noticed in the past few years that we don't receive as many as we used to. I did a little mental math the other day and figured if I made my own postcards, for forty or fifty cards it is still around forty dollars. I can reduce that by recycling old cards but postage still makes it a chunk of change. Sigh. It's not like I don't want to send cards, it's just an expense I'm not sure we should incure this year. Would you be offended at not receiving a card from a friend or relative one year?
I will do a little holiday baking this year but I am not going overboard as I have done in past years. I will make a double batch of bonbons I've become famous with friends and family for and a batch of sugar cut-outs for the kiddos to decorate but that's where that ends.
Are you noticing a theme in my holiday to-do list? I'm downsizing. There have been years when I have practically killed myself trying to do every little holiday tradition ever thought of. And you know what? It didn't make for a very merry or a very meaningful Christmas. I was left feeling empty and exhausted and a little grinchy.
This year my goal is simplicity and a focus on the Savior. It's easy to give lip service to Him this time of year by saying things like, "Jesus is the reason for the season," or "Let's remember He is the true meaning of Christmas," and then go kill ourselves trying to make Christmas look and feel like something out of a Norman Rockwell painting.
Don't misunderstand me. I love having all my decorations out and listening to Christmas carols until my kids scream for something else or Husband just changes every CD in the stereo himself. I watch White Christmas, It's a Wonderful Life and A Christmas Story not to mention all the Rankin/Bass Christmas specials and A Charlie Brown Christmas every year without fail. But they are distractions. They distract from Jesus.
It is my desire and goal this season to reflect daily on the priceless gift of my Heavenly Father daily. To reflect on how much He loves this world in spite of all the ugliness and sin that pervade it. He loves it so much He sent His one and only Son to live here among us, as one of us. Jesus knows what it is like to be hungry, frustrated, tired, angry, and happy. He lived as one of us yet did it perfectly. And then gave His life to cover all our sin and imperfection. He came to earth with that goal in mind. To save us from sin and ourselves.
That is where I am at this Christmas season. I'm trying to keep it simple. I'm downsizing. I'm focusing on Jesus.