Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Stress vs Simplifying

Ah, Christmas. The season when we fret over money and gifts, treats and music; plays, programs, dinners, cards, letters, packages tied up with strings, and never enough time to do anything we want to do, and if we do take the time to do the things we want to do then we regret it later, usually around midnight on Christmas Eve when we realize we forgot to get one of the children a stocking stuffer.

Don'tcha just love it?

I do.

Each year I tell myself I will simplify. Each year I tell myself the stress will not win. And each year, the stress comes and comes and...I don't care anymore. Bring on the stress! Because it's not necessarily bad stress. Oh, sure, it would be easier if I thought ahead and say, remembered to buy boots BEFORE the snow fell. It would probably be better if I checked to see if #2 had black pants BEFORE her Christmas theater performance. But where is the fun in that? I'm one of those people who just can't seem to get into the spirit of Christmas until after Thanksgiving. Call me weird, but it's hard to focus on the festivities when I'm stressing over other festivities. So many festivities!
That rock. I need to point that out.

See, I love the holidays. I love the hustle and bustle and race to get everything done in time. I love it because in between all those store runs and phone calls and wrapping sessions there are moment of pure peace. Such as standing out in the cold, staring at the snow-covered night, lights shining softly from the houses... Quietly nursing my baby while listening to Karen Carpenter croon about there being no place like home for the holidays... Watching my children in the glow of candlelight as we read about the Savior's birth... Laughing with neighbors and friends while we compile gifts for migrant workers... Seeing the joy on the face of my children as they open their gifts on Christmas; the gifts they didn't even ask for... Having goosebumps run up and down my arm while tears course down my face as I play for the Ward Choir as they sing about Christ...

Love it. Couldn't ask for a better contradiction of feelings and levels of emotions.

How do you feel about it all? Do you simplify? Do you stress? Do you love it or hate it or both?


Gio, Judi and Boys said...

i use to stress.. but not anymore...i haven't even started my shopping, but i know it will get done, this weekend or next week perhaps...the kids will be happy with their gifts, not to many this year. most of the family funds are going to the missionary, but brian understands..he'll get the main things he wants!
i love the music, the lights, the snow and the ward choir. i even took off work to be there because it is tradition and i love to hear them sing and you play. thanks for sharing your talents..
have a great day!

Amanda D said...

I'm feeling very much like you. I'm excited for Christmas this year (and yet a little worried) but that's what it's about, right?!

Cardalls said...

LOVE.IT.ALL! I love trying to come up with the perfect gift for those on my list. love thinking of my kids faces on christmas morning. love the anticipation my kids are starting to get...love 4 year olds at Christmas time and the magic. and i LOVE Karen Carpenter Christmas music...so takes me back to my childhood days!

Janelle said...

I simplify. Most of my gifts are purchased before December even begins. I just went out and purchased Sparkling Cider for neighborhood gifts instead of baking this year to save me some stress.

I just need to drop off some secret Santa gifts and I'm good to listen to Karen Carpenter until my ears fall off.

I have some parties to attend, but I'm keeping it simple this year.