Hello to anyone out there in the blogging abyss. If you just read that first line, than I so appreciate the fact that we have made contact. If you are like many, than you have likely been tangled up in an onslaught of additional bustle and activity. I feel you. I made goals to SIMPLIFY and as much as I am trying to pull back on Christmas, it still wants to be it’s own thing.
I am trying to keep things as uncluttered and as Zen-like as possible because my daughter is having surgery to remove a tumor from her middle ear. It was supposed to happen this week, but the surgeon decided to watch it for a little while so we could better understand the rate of its progression. There’s a possibility she may be having surgery and radiation. It’s feeling like a bigger deal. There’s one thing I felt I needed to do with this and that is:
TRY to keep up with the normal routine of things. If we could even “fake” a normal routine than maybe there would not be that feeling of unease because things were a little off. My normal routine at this time of year would be to put up a Christmas Tree-so I put up a Christmas tree.
Granted, it did not have all the bells and whistles. I got out the littlest tree. It’s a tree I had from my old little condo on Edgewood when I was still a single mom. I felt like I needed that tree this year.
I adorned it with purple ribbon in somewhat of an unruly fashion, because I felt it needed color.The purple ribbons reminded me of the purple of nobility. I don’t know where in any scriptural text that it states Jesus wore a purple robe, but I’m sure it’s in there somewhere. I did not drag out all the Christmas boxes, Christmas villages or all the usual Christmas bling. I grabbed for a few ornaments that I felt accentuated the purple. It was a humble endeavor. It was a breath of fresh air.
I must confess to the blogging world that my mother grew up in a religious commune that was a little bit off the grid. Thank goodness my mother did not grow up to be a zealot or an extremist, but I do feel that one thing from all that religious fervor stayed with her, and that was that Santa was not a huge part of our Christmas.
I recall taking a hay ride with my family and we were allowed to sing songs about the season or Jesus, but we were not allowed to sing songs about Santa for the whole entire ride. The whole Santa thing was just not a huge part of our Christmas. I’ve had people pity me for this reason or tell me, “Shame on your parents for taking away the magic of Christmas.” Holiday Customs are hard to break. Santa has not been a huge part of my children’s Christmas either. I may have tried with the Santa thing,(Okay I did not really try) and I’ll admit, any attempts at doing the Santa thing were done so badly.
When my children told me they did not believe in Santa I made no attempts to keep it going. It was such a relief to not have to do it anymore. I never made any attempts to conceal wrapping paper. I pretty much left clues right out there in the open.
When I married my husband and we combined families it was a different ballgame. My husband’s family’s traditions were VERY MUCH Santa oriented. I felt like we were martians. I was chastised for denying my family of the MAGIC of Christmas. I was that person now…and part of me wanted to apologize for my behavior and step up to the Santa plate BUT I JUST COULD NOT DO IT. I was bewildered and stunned…and not just because I had been chastised for my customs. I suddenly wanted to blurt out…JESUS IS THE MAGIC OF CHRISTMAS!
I don’t want to undermine any of those Santa Folk out there, like I certainly did not like my customs being undermined. This is just what has been burned into me since childhood. My notion of Christmas is a humble little manger, a star in the sky, the magi bearing gifts, and lowly shepherds out in the field. It was oranges in socks with peanuts and sometimes little books of lifesavers. It was Christmas carols at the Piano.
My husband found a tree in the garage and brought it in. We have NO IDEA where it came from. It was a bigger tree and my little tree that brought me peace for almost 48 hours was overshadowed. The tree had a star that looked like an old bike reflector. It was screaming to have vintage ornaments put on it. I put vintage Santa’s on it to accommodate the customs of my spouse’s family and I could do it because I had a sense of nostalgia for vintage.
Our neighbors across the street had their whole house decked out in blue and teal lights. My youngest daughter begged to have our Christmas lights put up so we could keep up with the Jones’s. My house is now decked out with multi colored lights and we have TWO Christmas trees. Sigh——–it was great while it lasted. I truly think all ideals for the holiday season have truly been represented. Are they staying within the bounds of my ideals for simplicity? Not even close. Another lesson for the books. The holidays are not about me. The battle for simplicity continues.
I hope you all enjoy my blog posts over the next few weeks as I try to pull back the reins while the horses run wild! So whether or not you are team Santa. team Jesus, a little of both, or neither, another blog post is forthcoming about the challenges and “simplicities” of homemade gifts and shopping with intent and purpose. See you soon!