Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Fading Frenzy

Maybe it is because we have had an unusually mild autumn that lasted right through November.  No snow yet to remind us of the time of year.  Maybe it is because we bought a winter home in Florida, thereby insuring a lack of a large amount of discretionary cash to spend on the holidays.  Maybe it is just that we have reached that stage in life.  We are not so much slowing down as spending more time examining our intentions.  In any case, less is appealing this year.  The frenzy of the holiday season...I am just not going there.

This is not to say that I am ignoring the season.  I put together two advent boxes for my grand kids.  I wrap up little gifts...candy, coins, crayons and colored pencils, stickers, an ornament or two...twenty-four of them for both kids.  I get a real sense of joy in doing this because it makes them happy to pull out a little surprise each day while waiting for Santa.

I made most of my Christmas cards this year.  I got together with friends a couple of times to work on cards and it felt like no pressure at all.  It felt like feeding my creative spirit.

I decorated the house yesterday--1 day and I am done.  I took out less than a fourth of my decorations, but the house still feels festive.

This morning I did my shopping, but nothing on my list of things to buy required standing in line on Thanksgiving night waiting for big box stores to open.  One trip to the mall on an early morning workday.  Avoiding crowds gives me satisfaction.  I hope the record spending is a good sign for the economy, but I am glad I did not feel I had to participate.  Now it is on to wrapping, but that is one of my favorite things about the holiday.
I will have my family for an early Christmas, I will deconstruct the decorations,  and then we will head to Mike's daughters to spend Christmas Day in South Carolina. We will be in Florida before New Year's Day this year.

I have thrown away my "Have To Do" list and am justgoing with what feels pleasant and satisfying to me.
It's kind of nice.


  1. I decorated in one day, too. And, I have finished my shopping - all online. Now, all I have to do is enjoy the holiday. It feels good not to have the hassle of years past.

  2. I have not been able to persuade hubby to bring up the decorations...yet. Still hoping. At least we bought new lights this year for outdoors. Time to throw away all the others. I think we need less. Before all the hullabaloo was for others and since they are elsewhere we do not need to do it for us.

  3. So many of us this year who feel that less is more, and more meaningful!
    It's kind of nice to see the pendulum swinging that way. Everybody buys everything all year long, despite the poor mouth you hear all over; what's the excitement of gifts for Christmas?

  4. I'm contemplating your words. I'm not sure I can go there yet. I think the decorations and the cooking and the baking are as much for my pleasure as for others. And yet it is a lot of work. I am making lists each day and feeling pressure - pressure that I put on myself.
    I have simplified the shopping, do most of it on line anymore.

  5. Same here, have done all my shopping online and try to avoid any shopping areas and traffic during the holiday season. Life has enough stresses without adding holiday stresses to it. I still have not decorated and I think its because my eldest son moved away and the weather in New England has been so warm - it doesn't feel like December with Christmas nearby.

  6. Olga, I think you've got it. That is how it should be done. Enjoying and not having a break down. Well done.

  7. If you're looking for ways to share something meaningful with the grandkids, but keep a lid on spending, you might like an idea we thought up yesterday. I just finished using iMovie to describe a new Hanukkah Kit for families -

    And even though I'm far from professional, my husband and I had a brainstorm that we could use this technology to make little videos for our grandson that he will love! We can sing the songs he loves to share with us; we can play the music he dances to; we can play with some costumes. And he can watch when we're not with him.

    I'm loving the idea and hoping it works out great. Hope it works for you, too!

  8. Uh oh, I haven't done a thing yet. I think I'm the opposite of you. Instead of keeping things simple and executing them, I make all kinds of elaborate plans in my head, then never follow through.

    I could probably learn a lesson from you. But still, I like to go to the mall at Christmas. Honestly, I don't buy that much, but I like the decorations and the crowds and the kids -- the spectacle of it all. But don't worry ... I don't try to sit on Santa's lap!

  9. For me the wrapping is the worst part but since like you and everyone else we have had to cut back on the spending I won't have as much to do! Amara, my granddaughter, helped me decorate the front of the house last weekend -- just some garland -- but we almost melted. It was 85 degrees out! To me it is the family and the dinner and time together that makes it special.

  10. We'll be in Hawaii from December 15 to 16, so time is important. We've got a small live tree, simple decorations, and most everything else still in the boxes downstairs.

    We'll have a family dinner and "take one or steal one" gift exchange on the 18th, and a second Christmas on the 27th when my son and his girlfriend and my granddaughters come up. Otherwise, simple is good.


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