…and someone out there is trying to keep up with me! Ever think of that? With my crooked, three foot “alpine”, and my never tidy house. Startling, isn’t it?
The notion isn’t mine. I read it tonight over on the recently discontinued blog, The Year of Less. The idea just resonates with me.
It seems like every Christmas, my gifting becomes less impressive. I’ve got way more time than money right now, so gifting handmade seems like a no-brainer. And frankly, I don’t want anybody to feel like they have to give ME or mine a gift that would tax them financially or otherwise. If I’M the Joneses, then I want to help create a culture that takes the pressure out of giving. Maybe somebody will judge us or think we’re just cheap, but have you ever noticed how gifts to those you’re the LEAST close to are the ones that tend to cause the most stress? It’s always so easy and fun to give something to my mom or my husband, but dang, I need three teacher gifts, and how the heck am I going to give something that makes sense in my budget, but will still make up for last week when my preschooler pooped his pants in class?! (After Christmas, I’ll post what I came up with… It’s cute. Maybe not cute enough to offset my son’s emissions, but cute, nonetheless.)
I’m embarrassed to admit that last year and the year before, I stressed a little over what to give my kids… not because it had to be the perfect gift for my then two year old and newborn, but because I felt that, as a parent, I’d better have something that sounds really good when well meaning friends and acquaintances asked what Santa was bringing. It seems so ridiculous, but i’m SURE I’m not the only one! Good night! If I’m the Joneses, I don’t want anybody to give to their kids with that in the back of their heads! I’ll tell you what my kids are getting this year: Plenty of grandparent fueled extravagancies I’ll have to find space for, and one big box of handmade puppets from “Santa’s workshop” to both of them. I’ll probably put a few of the same practical (and not so practical) stuffers in their stockings as I did last year. I’ve been collecting some vintage books at 50 cents a piece from the thrift store, so that’ll make it under the tree, too. No big deal! And it shouldn’t be! I think we’ll try to keep it simple as long as we can, because I know my kids better than any toy store, and I know that at this age, they don’t care how many or how fancy the toys are–as long as Marcus and I are on the floor ready to play, whatever they open!
Also, while I’m being so revealing on this matter (something I’m sure to blush about after I hit publish.) Let’s talk about the crooked, yet to be decorated, three foot tree in the picture above. We have a 7 foot monstrosity we’ve opted to keep in our closet this year (mostly so we won’t find it toppled on top of our unruly 14 month old), but I can’t tell you what a relief it is to have so little EMPTY SPACE under the tree waiting for us to fill up! If you’ve ever been tempted to go out and just buy STUFF so there would be more to unwrap Christmas morning–you should try some of this tree therapy! I feel liberated!
So there you have it. One more reason this year is shaping up to be our simplest Christmastime, yet. And it’s good. And it’s healthy. And maybe it’s not the way we’ll do things every year, but this year, it just feels right. 🙂
Read more about this year’s Christmas adventures in my recent 4SP post, in which I explain my somewhat minimalist approach to an advent activity calendar. And don’t forget to follow me on Pinterest! Thanks guys! You’re the best!