I touched yesterday on the fact that I was feeling a bit of “gift fatigue”.
It’s not even really just “gift fatigue”, though that has been the department that has caused me the most headaches this year. The Christmas season is just always so crazy! It’s one of those HUGE Catch-22s for me (and many, many other people, I think).
Christmastime (or the whole holiday season) is magical, fun, exciting, whimsical, special, romantic. We all want to enjoy various aspects of it but it inevitably ends up feeling like this mad rush to get everything done. At least for me.
Much of this is self-imposed, but this is why it’s a Catch 22. There is really no part of my holiday celebrations/ traditions that I want to do away with in order to “lighten the load”. Yet, I don’t always like the overwhelm that comes with it all. What to do, what to do.
I think the answer is…..take the entire month off of work every December. Hahahaha! 🙂 Yeah, probably not going to happen.
For some perspective, here’s a list of traditions/ occurrences that happen at our house:
–decorating. Too much decorating!!! Takes a LONG time (cumulatively) and gets split into several “sessions”: 1)our whole main level 2) our basement rec room (this is where our Christmas Eve celebration occurs, b/c we have a bar downstairs) 3) OUTSIDE lights/decor – always a huge pain in the neck 4) my Christmas village set up (cords, lightbulbs, etc etc…) 5) the Christmas tree. Phew. Seriously, the decorating takes f.o.r.e.v.e.r. But then again, I LOVE it when it’s all done!!! Like, serious LOVE.
–Cookies. Baking cookies makes a big fricking mess. And you have to plan it all out, buy the stuff, make the cookies, decorate the cookies, clean up the cookies…lovely tradition, great fun, taste delicious-but lots of time + mess. 🙂
–Christmas cards. I send them, every year…also time consuming! Again, self-imposed. But I like to send a photo card with a splattering of pics from the year, which means I need to choose the pictures + order the cards (always the most annoying part), find everyone’s addresses, address the cards, mail the cards, etc. But….I love getting others’ cards, so I like to send them, too!
–Shopping. The gift buying thing makes my head spin. Back in the day, you just went out a couple times, picked up whatever they had at the mall or Kohl’s Department Store and called it good. Now, with all the online shopping in the mix, it feels like the options are endless- the “perfect gift” IS out there, somewhere, and it’s technically available to you, if you are smart and savvy enough to find it (and order it, in time).
So the pressure feels cranked up to me. Plus, my family is just NOT a “minimal gift giving” family. We are firmly in the “too many gifts” camp. I’m sorry, but it’s true and I’m just going to admit it. In our defense, we very rarely just buy toys or things for the kids if it’s not a birthday or holiday, so many holiday gifts are things that we would need to buy them anyway at some point. The whole gift giving tradition IS very fun (for us). We have been known to wrap up individual pairs of socks just to drag out the gift opening process, because it’s more about the excitement and anticipation of it all. The “experience”, I guess, of sharing and opening the gifts. But, this means we are not buying and wrapping just a couple of items.
–Wrapping presents. Another big, time consuming event (though one I generally really enjoy as it normally involves time alone (gifts, you know!) + fireplace + Christmas movie on TV)
–Holiday “fun events”– the lights displays, etc.
–Asher’s birthday is Dec 2nd which creates its own bunch of “stuff to do”, plus we celebrate St. Nick’s Day on Dec. 6th (very popular in the heavily German influenced area I grew up in) but requires filling the stockings that day with candy, little treats, etc (which means I needed to buy that stuff).
-Trying to make time for the Christmas movie watching, relaxing, other holiday traditions
-In normal years, attending Christmas/ holiday performances (i.e. The Nutcracker or A Christmas Carol, etc.) PLUS school band performances, holiday piano recitals, school events….
–Other things I’m probably forgetting right now. 🙂
I have tried time and time again to figure out how to scale this all back. And yet, here I am. 🙂 I guess I just can’t let any of it go. Somehow, it always all gets done. Somehow, the magic happens. Hahaha. I just wish sometimes that it was ACTUALLY magic, and not, um, the mom of the family making it all happen. 😉
Tell me what it’s like at your house. I’m sure each household’s experiences vary wildly, so I’m just so curious!!
Day #4 of 12 Days of Christmas Challenge:
Family candelight dinner + Christmas tunes! ✔
Up today: walk outside in the dark tonight!
I am grateful for my heart (definitely literally, but also figuratively. 🙂 )