By: Jennifer Murray

What Does a Simple Christmas Season Look Like?

We had such a great Thanksgiving week as a family – lots of down time, lots of quality family time, lots of great eats. Now we are full speed ahead into the Christmas season, and can I be honest?  I’m dragging my feet. I’m not sure why my spirit isn’t into the season yet.  I’m usually blaring my favorite Pandora Christmas stations, baking, and digging out decorations by now, but I’ve been semi-dreading putting up our giant tree.

I can’t quite put a finger on what it is exactly

  • Perhaps it’s the way our kids’ are bombarded with wants when we are trying so desperately to create thankfulness and contentment in our home.
  • Maybe it’s knowing how hectic and busy the month can be, when we are trying to keep things simple.  
  • Possibly it’s not being able to be everywhere, do everything, or get everyone something significant to show my love. I’m a pleaser, can you tell?

 

I don’t want this Christmas to be about buying the best gifts, how many cookies I baked, how many picture perfect moments we accomplished, and all the “stuff” distracts us from the true meaning of the season.

I desperately want it to be simple moments like this…

An entirely kid decorated and put together tree. Hot chocolate and walking around downtown. Movies in pajamas. Reading through Advent with The Jesus Story Book Bible. Spending time loving on family.

kid's christmas tree faces of wonder

 

It will involve checking our motives, saying “no” to the busyness, being content with how blessed we already are without any presents under the tree, and making a conscious effort to focus on the simple moments over the chaos.

You can’t wrap that up and put a ribbon on top, but it’s a tangible gift that our family can enjoy together. 

 

 

 

4 Responses to “What Does a Simple Christmas Season Look Like?”

  1. Crystal
    December 3, 2013 at 8:17 am #

    I know what you mean. All over my Facebook feed are photos of perfect Christmas moments — already! And I’m thinking, I hope we can get everyone’s beds put together and the dishes put away and decorations up by Christmas. I’m hoping we can get a tree next week and the cards out by the 12th (the cutoff for mailing back to the States). And I feel SO GUILTY. I know there’s always next year, but last year I said I would do Truth in the Tinsel this year! And now this year I’m putting it off again because we’re in a European hotel room, waiting to move into a house!
    Crystal recently posted.. The Hurt of Love

  2. Emily
    December 3, 2013 at 6:23 pm #

    Right there with you! Told Nick I feel like a Scrooge this year but I almost don’t want to put the tree up since it involves getting in the attic, hauling boxes down, and then having a ‘mess’ in the house before it gets better. I want a simply decorated house and simple calendar. We’ve had a jam-packed month and I got a bit overwhelmed when I saw that we have something every weekend this month. Some days I just want to put my hands over my ears, yell STOP, and go hide in the corner! Ha!
    We’re doing The Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp this year and I’m super excited about it. At the end of a busy day it’s refreshing to read and re-focus.
    Maybe sometime soon we can give you a break from the busy and take one ourselves by giving you two a date night. Nick (and you know I do) just loves your boys. He even saw a pic or something you posted the other day and said, ‘They’re just cool.’ 😉

  3. Lene Kristin
    December 3, 2013 at 9:28 pm #

    I can feel it, too. This year will be the first we celebrate at home, in our home town, in our new house. Previous years we have travelled to my husband’s family. I have always wanted to stay home, and this year it’s happening. I want to make it “right” (I am a perfectionist) for both adults and kids: Set the mood, but not spend too much time decorating and preparing. Focus on giving gifts, not receiving. Focus on spending time together when we bake and make decorations – not focussing on the amount or quality of the finished products. Make it “perfect” for the kids, so they can have a great experience and lovely memories, but not set the bar so high that I can’t reach it (this year or next, since I know – we are making traditions now – that they will be comparing).
    And so I let the planning and the worrying and the overthinking take the place in my heart where the Christmas Spirit ought to be. Sometimes, it’s jam packed and no room left for Spirit at all. But I want to quit worrying and enjoy the season – hopefully, I will be able to 🙂

    Best wishes <3
    Lene Kristin recently posted.. Halloween 2013

  4. Hilary
    December 4, 2013 at 2:24 am #

    I am a middle school vocal music teacher, adjunct college prof, and a church choir director…married to a band director….and we have three kids 1, 4, and 8. I don’t sit down in December (unless it is to do grades) We have never made Christmas the big deal that others do. We have a small (5 foot) pre lit tree and last year we decided to just put a bag over it and stick it in the basement – I put the tree up in 5 min this year! The outside lights are Christmas trees I made from tomato cages so all we had to do was put them on the porch. Hung the stockings and put out a few little things and BAM! Christmas in 30 min! We only get about 5 gifts for each kid – 1 big and a few little things ( we also pass down things as gifts. The older kids give things that the don’t use any more to the younger ones that will play with it). We DVR lots of movies, sing, drive and look at the lights and just hang out when we can. In the next four weeks between my husband and I we have 14 performances that we have to be at so we love the time we get. Winter brake is the best gift we all have…time with eachother.

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