Preparing for Christmas

So, Don and I have been inspired to really simplify our lives. We already lean strongly towards a more minimalist mindset, but with kids over the year “stuff” and “clutter” has snuck in and taken over! How did we end up with more plastic things than we ever thought we’d need in a lifetime!

Some of our favorite friends have recently decided to sell their home, buy a motor home and travel the country with just the things they really need. We are so tempted to join in – (minus the motor home). We would love a year of exploring the country with our kiddos.

All this, though, leads me into planning for the Christmas season. I have friends who have never bought into the cultural craze of it all, never doing gifts, etc. And I’m kinda jealous of that! For some reason, since we’ve been doing it so long, it makes it harder to unplug. But why? I don’t really want to be the “Bah-Humbug” of the family, maybe?

And then our kids – they see the lights and decorations and new displays of toys – and they get glossy-eyed wondering when we will put up our own lights and go shopping?

What I really want to do is focus together as a family on the real reason for it all. To have peaceful times to reflect. To have windows of time open to invite others in, or bake yummy foods to share.

. . . .

I’m happy to share that it ended up being a most special Christmas season. I focused so much less on gifts for our immediate family and relatives and just allowed ourselves to enjoy the simple holiday. The best thing I did was to start a new tradition, casually celebrating advent. Each evening after dinner, I’d bring out a very simple treat (i.e. piece of chocolate), and over dessert, we’d read a bit from the Bible and talk about it. It was a treasured time together – life stood still. The candles were lit, and we enjoyed the most meaningful conversations together. We allowed the atmosphere to be authentic and fun, not stuffy or ritualistic. This is something I definitely want to do again.

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