Mark Twain

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do ...
Explore. Dream. Discover." Mark Twain

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Holiday Season - looming ahead

  If you are a big fan of the coming holiday season,
 you might want to skip this post.

With the beauty of Fall and the magnificence of Winter (I hope ... )
 comes another season that is separate from nature.
The Holiday Season. 
Didn't I put away those darn Christmas decorations just last week??)

If you are anything like me your reaction to the Holiday Season is complex.  I feel I am facing down Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years all in the space of about 2 months!

I know, I know ... it is only September.  I can hear your thoughts: aren't you rushing things a bit?

Well, not really.  The stores are stocking Halloween paraphernalia now.  By October 1st  Thanksgiving and Christmas stuff will be all over the place.  In fact, they will start putting the Christmas stuff on mark-down by December 1. I have even seen a few references in blogs that I read about preparing for the holiday season.


For the last 2 holiday seasons (2010 and 2011) ... what I really wanted to do was skip the whole thing.  But is that even possible living on planet earth!

Isn't that sad?
How did this happen to me?  
I do enjoy the company of friends and family who are in a celebratory mood,
 but there is so much I feel I could skip.

I don't think the "Bah Humbug" mood happened over night.  I think it has been growing steadily over the years.
Thinking back to when my kids were young, I decorated for most holidays - Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas/New Years.  Christmas decorating was the BIGGY!  All my regular stuff got packed away to be replaced with green and red, and gold and silver STUFF!!  (There's that word again.)

For about 10 years I have been backing down all the decorating.  I turned a real corner Christmas 2010.  That year mom was sick from Thanksgiving until Christmas.  There were no decorations, cards, wrapped gifts, parties, cookie baking ... nothing, until the day I brought her home - December 23rd!  The whole month of December I wanted to stop the clock so I could catch up.  But Christmas still came or the spirit of Christmas arrived on the day mom came home.

Even Christmas 2011 was different.  Mom was newly placed in Assisted Living that December - I still felt time-constrained to do the traditional holiday prep.  New holiday traditions were forced to evolve.  And the spirit of the season still arrived - just looking different.

I think in the spirit of my new "pitch it, donate it, minimize it" mood, I will prepare and participate in the Holiday Season this way:
  • I will buy a precooked Thanksgiving turkey and limit the side dishes to just a few. (Maybe I will eventually evolve to celebrating with dinner out as some have suggested.)
  • I will buy a Thanksgiving dessert - maybe cheese cake (I feel so bold picking cheese cake over apple pie.)
  • I will drag those 8 boxes of Christmas decorations out and shrink them down to 3 or 4 (there used to be 15 boxes - big boxes - ostentatious!  To be fair I inherited a bunch of Christmas stuff from my Christmas-loving mother-in-law so that holiday clutter was enormous for a few years.)
  • I'll decorate a tree, put a wreath on the door,  mount the candle lights in each window, and put a festive something on my kitchen table.  I will stop there. 
  • Christmas dinner will be much like Thanksgiving - easy!
  • There will be gifts (I like that part - especially wrapping and giving), but I will skip sending cards (there are a few hours saved!)
  • I will avoid the overly decorated Malls with the invasive holiday music.
  • And I will get mom into the car one evening in December for a ride around to see local Christmas lights - she likes that.
hmm ... seems like a lot of bullets!

No matter.  I swear to you this list is WAY DOWN from 10 years ago ... scrooge-like by comparison.

Maybe if I stick to only this ... I won't feel like I need to move to another planet this season!


  1. I have downsized what I do for the holidays. It is important to do the parts that you really enjoy and let go of anything that you do not enjoy.

  2. I could never understand my parents not wanting to be bothered with the hoopla surrounding the holidays but I'm here to tell you, I GET IT NOW!!!

    1. Yeah, 10 years ago I would have scoffed at the thought of totally skipping Christmas. How times change.

  3. It is a constant surprise to me how much my feelings have changed over the years. At my most involved I did a lot of inside and outside decorating and baked so many Christmas cookies I had to start Thanksgiving. I will enjoy making a few dozen this year to share at family events. In the last few years I have done little in the way of decorating. Amazingly enough Christmas still comes and I still enjoy a lot of it, probably more because I am not so focused on getting so much accomplished!

    1. Isn't it amazing how things change over time.

  4. I feel exactly the same way! Been paring down for years. I wrote about not getting a tree here:
    On your previous post, I love DWTS too. I'm addicted. I watch even the stars I don't care about. It's amazing how much they can learn in a few weeks. Brilliant premise for a show.

    1. Oh wow everyone. I read the post and it is amazing. Go read it.

      Mare Ball, you are my new hero!! I am re-thinking the Christmas tree thing even as I write. My tree comes in 3 parts. Who is to say that my tree (made by man, of course) must have all 3 parts. May be I will just do a smaller version of my tree for this year. You know, wean myself off slowly - this year a smaller tree. Next year ... no tree???

      Wow, I feel very good about this!

      The real meaning of Christmas - punch it up by shrinking the tree! It is a great idea.

      Thanks Mare.


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