Dec 4, 2012

The Holidays at our House

Things are very different in our house this holiday season - with KM getting older, me working outside of the house more, CJ gone for work so much and our families ever evolving beliefs we are vastly downsizing on many levels.

The last few years we have had our family celebration on the winter solstice - or as close to it as we can when CJ is home - and then celebrate with our extended family on Christmas eve and day. We do presents, have a yule log or bonfire, and eat a fabulous feast. We do save the stockings for Christmas morning, as this was one tradition that none of us was willing to move past. This has made the time so much more enjoyable, giving us the quiet family time, before the amped up craziness that is the holidays with all the little ones running around our family.

Since it was only KM and I decking the halls, we decided to go with the small tree - that is usually set up in her bedroom - the stockings for the mantle and a few odds and ends. We are not religious in any way, so over the last few years we have done away with most of the Christmas specific decorations and kept the more secular winter decorations.

We have also been cutting the holiday spending and this year we are seriously limiting the gifts to just a few things for each of us and one thing for each of my nieces and nephews. We will be baking a lot and making a few other items for very close friends and some extended family. These are the types of gifts that we love to get - sweet treats, touching trinkets and homemade items.

Speaking of gift giving I have been struggling with a lot of questions around this lately. Why do we make our kids or ourselves wait for one or two designated days a year when we are allowed to get what we want or need? Why do we feel as though we must tell everyone exactly what we want? Why do we HAVE to get gifts to everyone? Why do we expect to get ONLY things that we have included on our "wish list"? Why can't anyone think of something that someone else might like? Why do we spend money on grab gifts that we have no idea if anyone will like or want as we have NO idea who will actually get it? ~~~~ I don't have the answer to any of these but they have really pulled me into a very different mindset this holiday. I would love to hear what others think or if you are doing anything different this year.
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