Last night I put a picture up on Instagram. It looked a little something like this:
For those of you contemplating if I’ve officially lost my mind, I haven’t. I don’t think.
Nope! Christmas has just come early to this household! And it doesn’t have anything to do with that crooked P on the wall… it’s just crooked. Because I used to have a star there that needed one nail, but now I have the P there that apparently needs TWO nails. And I don’t care how much you cry, scream and wail, I won’t tell you how long we’ve been aware that it needs two nails. *cough* 4 months *cough*
Anyway! The question begs to be asked (I can hear it begging, can’t you?), WHY do we have a Christmas tree up already and WHY are there children snooping a present under it?
Weeeeeeelllll, that’s because I’ve decided to do Christmas different this year.
If you’ve spent any lengthy amount of time around this here blog (this here one), then you’ve probably read about me not being a very big holiday person. Now, don’t get me wrong! I like the major ones that have deep significant meaning to me in some way (Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter), but the silly little ones? (Which is almost all the rest)… puh-lease! *rolls eyes* I just don’t see the point. (Okay, I do also like the 4th of July.)
It all started years ago. I think I was pregnant with our first child, and I had sat down to read a magazine. Flipping through the various articles and blurbs, I saw something that caught my eye. A father talking about how he didn’t like celebrating holidays that were “made-up by greeting card companies.” Hmm… interesting. Never really thought of them like that. I continued to read that he threw out all holidays in his house except the ones that were significant to him and then he instituted new holidays that he made up just for his family.
Wow! Can you do that?! Doesn’t that break some holiday law?! Should I report him to the holiday police?!
I was so impacted by this little blurb in the magazine, that it totally changed my perspective on holidays. It got me thinking… why do we celebrate the ones that we do? Why are they important or significant to us? What do they have to do with my beliefs as a Christian? I quickly realized that very few held any deep importance to me, so… why did I celebrate them?
Ever since our first Christmas with our first child in my arms, I started to become very intentional that the holidays we chose to celebrate were rooted in something significant. That they were special to us. A true day of celebration!
It became very important to me to be able to tell him when he grew up WHY we celebrated these holidays, and I didn’t want some flippant answer like, “because it’s a holiday!” And I also wanted to be able to tell him why we did all the little holiday things we did surrounding it. For instance, what would I tell him when he asked why we put up a Christmas tree? I wanted to have a REAL answer, not just some, “that’s what you do at Christmas” one.
So, I asked myself why, until I could answer myself over each thing that we did during that specific holiday. In some cases, even down to the colors we used to celebrate it. And then I let go of all the other little holidays. And you know what? It was so freeing! Seriously, there was so much less pressure and stress when they rolled around. I didn’t have to decorate, make heart-shaped pancakes that were perfect. I didn’t have to spend hours coming up with costumes and dish out money on silly holiday related items. And you know what else? It freed me up to spend more time on the meaning and reasons of why we do celebrate the ones we do. It helped make OUR holidays even more meaningful!
Okay. So back to our Christmas this year.
Since the years that we’ve ditched our miscellaneous holidays, I’ve had the pleasure of hearing other people’s thoughts on this subject, and how they too have tried to make holidays (especially Christmas) more meaningful. One of the ideas I’ve heard from a few families is how they slow Christmas down. They don’t open all the presents on one chaotic Christmas morning, but spread the joy of present opening out over several days or even weeks! One family in particular played off the 12 days of Christmas. They opened one family present for 12 days and really enjoyed the slower pace of their extended Christmas celebrations. Plus, as a total bonus, they had a full day to enjoy their present before the next one was opened.
Building off that idea, and for another reason I’ll explain below, we have decided to do our own twist on this. We are doing the 12 weeks of Christmas at our house! And we’ll finish up just in time to make Christmas be what it’s really about… Jesus (not presents).
I know this probably sounds really crazy to you all. Why on earth would spread the chaos of Christmas out for 12 weeks? But, it’s not spreading out chaos… it’s slowing it down. Making the pace LESS chaotic. Letting us take it in more. Besides! We don’t have any other holiday to celebrate in there but Thanksgiving, which fits perfectly in with Christmas anyway. *wink*
Now, I’d be leading you on if I didn’t also tell you the other reason that played into us having Christmas strung out beforehand this year. And that’s this: it’s very convenient for my blogging world to do it this way!
Starting next Friday, and the following Fridays until I’m finished, I’ll be showing you some of my Lazy Mom Top Picks for Christmas. And they’ll be chosen from the gifts my kids open during our prolonged celebration. This way I can show you stuff my kids really liked, and not just what I think they might like, in the hopes that it will help you find the right presents for your kids this Christmas. This change in Christmas plans is definitely serving several purposes for me. I just hope you’ll enjoy the ride with us (and not think we’re TOO crazy)!
Merry Early Christmas!
The Lazy Mom