Christmas is all but over for another year and that’s ok by me. My highlight was getting to spend Christmas Eve night and Christmas morning with my family and my kids. We have our little traditions and that’s enough for me. The rest of it I can definitely do without.
In truth, if we could just have some game days with good food and laughter, that would be preferable. All the decorating, gifts, and fanfare take a lot of effort, money, and time and that’s not what the holiday is about. Or not what it should be about.
Well.. it IS about time and that’s what I want to focus on. The quality time spent with loved ones and not all the time we spend preparing.
When I was a kid I could never understand why my grandparents had almost no decorations and a small, 3 foot tree, they pulled out of the attic space already decorated and set it out on a table. I didn’t get why they didn’t do more. But I think I do now.
It was more about the gathering, fixing a delicious meal, talking around the table, and playing cards. I definitely see the appeal of putting less effort into decorations and presents and more on quality time. Maybe that’s a lesson for next year.
One example of what feels like wasted effort is the 9 foot tree in the living room. We bought it together the first Christmas the kids and I were in this house which was only a few short years ago. It’s prelit and this year, one by one, sections of the lights started to go dark.
The first strand that went out was a big section. I subsequently ended up going to three different stores to find lights that match the existing lights. Turns out they are not LED and that’s tough to match because most places have tons of LED and not a lot of the original kind. I did find some at Target that were close.
I filled in the dark spots and then returned the rest of the purchases. It took a considerable amount of time to take care of. Time I could have been spending on other stuff.
A week later another section went out. It was a smaller section but still bothersome to look at every time we’re in the living room. So it was back to target for more lights. The kind I bought before were all out and the shelves were severely picked over. I bought the remainder of boxes of the original kind of warm white, which were strands of 25 lights (not even long enough to go around the bottom of the tree) and all those were terminal ends so they could not even be strung together end-to-end. But I made it work well enough.
Then yesterday after my kids were gone and we’re just sitting in the living room talking, I noticed another section had gone out. Jim said it makes sense they would all go out about the same time, but good gravy we’ve only had that tree for a couple of years.
So this a what I’m talking about. My OCD is focused on the lights when I could have, or should have been just enjoying the season.
Thankfully this past weekend I was able to let go of all my “goals” and just have fun with family.
Christmas Eve was a fast moving train as we hosted Jim’s family for their celebration where I did all the major cooking (Turkey, mashed potatoes and stuffing) not to mention setup for hosting 20 people. And then there was only a short time before we had to get to CB to my family gathering.
As I said, Christmas itself was more chill as it was just us here with my kids and we did our gift exchange and traditional breakfast of cinnamon rolls.
Now that it’s all over, I can turn my attention on cleaning up and getting the house back in order. But I’m not gonna stress about how quickly anything gets done. I’m going to try to continue to have well balanced days and put more energy into spending what little time I have with the kids while they are both here.
On that note, I’m cutting this now to get started with the rest of what this “observed” holiday has in store.
With peace and love,