We've embraced simplicity and been clearing out and cleaning up. Today we turned the kids loose with furniture polish and the vacuum cleaner and they did a really good job on the family room, dining room, and living room. We used to have two trees and tons of Christmas clutter on every flat surface, made me feel very claustrophobic and antsy on December 26th.
Then last year we removed the "fun" tree from the family room because of our then-puppy. That area was his to romp and play and had to be clear of anything ground level or it would become puppy fodder and chewed up. So we ditched the "color-coordinated" snooty tree in the living room, and our family ornaments (which is quite varied and extensive) went in the living room. We also used my parents' artificial tree that they used one year and then determined it was too big.
Well, this year we decided to stick with the one tree. And some of the pre-lit white strands were out. We opted to put colored lights and a strand of solid blue. It looked so fun. And by the time all the ornaments were on, it was so fun. Collectively we agree this is the best tree we've ever had and reflects "whimsy" was the word.
We were avid collectors of things awhile back. Dept 56 Dickens Village and Dept 56 North Pole/Alpine Village. I mean tons of houses and people and stuff. This year we asked the kids which set of houses they'd like and they picked the North Pole, which is fun. So that village is on the mantle in the family room. We put out our collection of snow globes on the entertainment center. And in the china cabinet I did a vignette with some of the things I like best - vintage things from the 50s from my grandmother, a Mary Englebreit teapot with some colorful snowmen and a Jim Shore Mickey and Minnie mouse. And that's it.
We've got the Nativity set up on a table and have two baskets of our vast collection of Christmas books.
It sounds like a lot, but it really is FAR LESS THAN WHAT WE'VE HAD. I no longer feel and obligation to put out ridiculously expensive holiday knick-knacks from the MIL. I can look at what we've got and admire and enjoy it.
And each child is getting one gift to open under the tree. These are gifts in the $160-$180 range and are items that they've asked for or were on the very short list they provided. Instead of stocking this year, we're letting the Advent Buddies (our version of Secret Santa) fill those, and DH and I will be putting together a family gift basket with some games/movies/snacks, etc.
And gifts from the extended family will be fewer. My brother gave the girls very nice phones and paid for the first two months of service. That was Christmas and birthday. My parents and brother are going in on video rockers for the boys since they have the video game set up in their room. My inlaws will give cash to pay for a weekend away in February at the indoor water park. Our gift giving is pretty minimal, too.
Simplicity really is where it is at. Of course, focusing on the real reason of the season for we who are Christian. And we've been attending a different parish for weekly Mass, and at dinner today my younger daughter said she misses our attendance there so we said we'd return for Advent and Christmas Eve Mass.
That's all for now.
Welcoming an Uncluttered Christmas
November 28th, 2014 at 05:46 pm