I put the Christmas Lights Back in the Box-Pour Your Heart Out


I have traditionally NOT been a Christmas person, (especially since having children)…gasp I know.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the look of excitement and anticipation on my daughters’ faces but all of the things to do prior to their looks of elation on Christmas morning,  just stress me out.  I usually end up doing tons of things because I felt like that “I should”.  Since I probably really didn’t “want to” in the first place, I procrastinated every year.  Shopping, decorating…all last minute and by the time Christmas actually got here…attitude in the tank!

So I decided to be proactive this year and get started with everything early.  I soon discovered, getting started early did not help my “want-to”.  I had my husband lug all the decorations up stairs from the basement and we put up the Christmas Tree this past weekend. (I realize the weekend after Thanksgiving is not “early” for Christmas decorating but it was early for me!)  Anyway,  we have an old pre-lit artificial tree that challenges us like crazy every year to hook up correctly so the lights will come on.  This year, no matter how many times we plugged and re-plugged…the tree did not light up.  So, we had to go “old-school” and string lights around the tree.

Divas, after I strung those lights and the girls helped but the ornaments on, I had NO DESIRE to put up any more decorations.  So I put all those Christmas lights and such back in the box and took them back to the basement!  At first, I felt a little guilty…I felt that “you should ” coming on.  After a few moments, I felt empowered and down right peaceful.

I can feel it in my bones, this Christmas is going to be different.

This year, we have decided to only buy a few gifts for our girls and that is it!  Every year, we buy gifts for family, close friends, close friends’ kids, teachers, and the list goes on and exhaustively on!  Even with my daughters, …….no more buying just to be buying,

For the first time in YEARS, I am looking forward to our annual Christmas Breakfast.  Instead of doing it on Christmas day as we always have, I decided to do it on the Saturday before Christmas…at 11am instead of our traditional 9am.   Doing it on Christmas morning was just too stressful for me but that is the way it has always been.  Perhaps it is this whole turning 40 thing but…….. I put my foot down.

We are going to have a theme for the breakfast this year….”ugly Christmas Sweater”! I can’t wait to spend time together eating, laughing and poking fun at each other’s sweaters.

Ahhhhh this feels good.

“Remember, as you unbox all your decor and start penciling in the squares of your calendar, that “more” of the holiday season isn’t always better.”-Trish (Art of Simple.net)

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. Luke 2:10-11 (NIV)

Check out this interesting article on Zen Habits about NOT buying Christmas Gifts. (I know it sounds so Un-American but it is good food for thought!)

This post is part of a weekly meme hosted by Shell over at Things I can’t Say.


  1. Christmas shouldn’t be stressful with a list of things we feel like we have to do. Good for you for cutting back!

  2. My husband and I print out a calendar and ask the kids what they want to do and start filling it in. I include family time like watching Christmas movies and going to look at lights. It works for us since we all get to do our favorite activity and we don’t overbook ourselves and end of stressed out by the 25th doing it all. We turned down an invitation this Friday to get together with friends since we have plans to watch Charlie Brown Christmas that night. For once I didn’t feel guilty saying no. I’m going to do this every year from now on.

  3. So proud of you for standing up for your peace of mind and celebrating the way you want to…that what “you should” do!!! Not un-American either…the spirit of giving is overdone to the point of it being the spirit of entitlement in our budget-strained lives. Yes, turning 40 does make you feel like you’ve tolerated some things enough, and it is time for a change!!

  4. Yes! So much yes to this! I just wrote about something similar – although it had to deal with depression and the holidays, but had the same points. We do not have to go overboard for it to be a “good” Christmas! Great post!

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