Saturday, November 24, 2012

Getting Ready for Christmas Mentally

Every year after Christmas we do a little evaluation. Did we spend too much? Too little? Are we going to use the gifts we received? Where are we going to put all these gifts? How many toys is too many? How much time was spent thinking about what to buy for others or about what we wanted?   When is Home Depot getting their Noble Fir trees in? Where are we going to go to look at Christmas lights? Can Steve put Christmas lights on the roof even though he's working tons and would have to do it in the dark? How much is this going to cost to mail at the post office?  Should Hailey have her picture taken with Santa? How many Christmas parties should we attend? What is the perfect picture for a Christmas card? Most of these things are over thought.  Oh... wait, how much time was really devoted to thinking about the Savior? ....not enough. How many oldl senior people do I know that are spending the holidays alone? ...too many. Are we going to get a food and toy package for the less foruntate together? ...maybe if we have time after everthing else gets done. It makes me sad enough that every year I think we are going to do better the next year.

I find that I always get sucked in. I think in the past we have scheduled too many things to do. Then I feel rushed which means my patience decreases and temper increases.  Last year I was so worked up over our Christmas card that I ended up not sending any... nope not a single one. We call that a waste of time.  Remember how I asked my visitng teachers to wrap all my Christmas presents for me?  But we had so many presents to wrap they didn't have time to wrap all of them.  I really dislilke how commercialized Christmas has become because it is so easy to get caught up in things that don't really matter.

Time really is the most most valuable thing I have. For me that means buying a gingerbread house kit instead of making one from scratch. It means not going to everthing we are invited to. It means not getting out all the Christmas decorations... just the ones we really love. It means there are plenty of teaching moments I can have with Hailey if I look for the opportunity. I don't want to be a Christmas grinch. I really do love Christmas time. I know if I simplify the things I am involved in I can enjoy it a lot more.

One of  the new things we are trying this year is something I read about last year here: putting a limit on gifts. Honestly, I don't think anyone in this house has ever been shortchanged on gifts.... rather I think we have more than we need. Just think about it -- we do Christmas at our house, my parents' house, Steve's parents' house, with siblings on both sides of the family, grandparents, and then with close friends. We love getting together with our friends and family. But we only live in 900 square feet. I don't want our home to feel like a storage unit. Before the holidays my mom and I both do "Operation Goodwill". Last year I got rid of 8 large trash bags of stuff we didn't use or need. This year we are doing 4 gifts per person in our home based on: (1) something you want, (2) something you need, (3) something to wear, and (4) something to read. This makes my life much easier.

Thought this was a cute way to remind us to think of others.
Again, not my own idea taken from