Friday, December 5, 2008

Halving December?

Okay, you can't really cut a month in half, but the way December is flying by, it feels like I have.

Twenty days to get it all together for Christmas. There's so much to do!

And yet I'm not as stressed out as I could be. That's because I already cut back - on the money I planned to spend on the holidays, on the amount of activities I agreed to, and on my expectations.

I've put the kids first. They will get the same Christmas they're used to getting. I ask them to make lists. I prioritize my purchases. I spend my budget. And I stop.

I cut back on the amounts I was spending on grown-ups. We're all perfectly capable of buying things for ourselves. And none of us needs extra stuff piling up.

I also gave up on creating the "perfect" Christmas. I used to look for the perfect candlelight Christmas Eve service to re-create my childhood experiences at church. Guess what? It doesn't exist here, and we're not religious anyways. I'll take my family for a walk that night instead. We'll look at the lights in the neighborhood, the stars and the sky, the snow on the ground and trees. It's good enough.

I used to long for my family at Christmas-time, too. Now I realize that I'm blessed in a different way. We don't worry about travel, or lines, or family politics, or clashing temperaments. We have Christmas at home in a quiet way and it suits us.

There will be moments of panic between now and December 25th, but I'm determined that there will be moments of peace, as well.

How about you? How is your December going?

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