It’s (Not) Beginning to Feel a lot Like…

…Christmas. I feel a bit Ebineezer-ish saying so but something’s just off this year and I can’t quite put my finger on what it is.

Since our kids are young —one just grasping the concept of Santa Clause, the other yet untainted by the truth—we’re still working out the details of Christmas in our house: how much is too much, what’s too little. We’re figuring out the finances of Christmas, establishing a dollar amount to spend on the kids and being creative with how Santa uses his portion (because filling a stocking gets expensive!) and what Mom and Dad do with the remainder.

Also because they’re young, or perhaps because we’ve sheltered them from commercialism, they don’t have many wants. Our daughter has asked Santa for just two things: a Sticky Mosaic princess crown because she messed up the one she got for her birthday (in April) and a remote-controlled vehicle, because their favorite auntie just gave one to her brother and she wants it bad! Grand total for both items: $15. She’s a lot like her father.

Our son, on the other hand, has a mild obsession with trains and rocket ships. While he’s easier to shop for, he also has a lot more wants. We decided each child would get one main gift (and filled stockings) from Santa and several items from us, many of them things we would have purchased as parents anyway, like pint-sized tennis racquets or nice shoes.

With this established, I managed to start and complete our Christmas shopping in early December. DH has wrapped most of the gifts. The stockings have been hung, the tree decorated. Christmas lights strewn. The ever-stressful, family-photo holiday cards have been ordered, addressed and mailed. We’ve made dozens upon dozens of iced sugar cookies. Built a gingerbread house at our church. Adopted a family in need, whom we purchased and delivered gifts for. Advent calendars are being opened. And holiday music has been crooning through our speakers since November 28th.

Nonetheless, I just don’t feel in the Christmas spirit.

Is there something I’ve forgotten? Something I’ve missed? I don’t think I’m missing the true meaning of Christmas. I’m right there with Theodor Geisel when he wrote:

Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before!
“Maybe Christmas,” he thought, “doesn’t come from a store.
“Maybe Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!”

What have you been doing to embrace and prepare for the holidays this year? Is it working or do you feel like something’s missing too?

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. slightlywonky
    Dec 20, 2011 @ 12:06:49

    I think that we get beaten down by the consumer-culture messages blaring in our ears all day. Believe that you are making a conscious choice not to get sucked into that losing game. Maybe focus every day on how lucky we are. I think expanding one’s view might help. Also try tuning out from media for a day (if possible), and think about what made the holidays special for you as a kid. Try to focus on those things. I think that I’ve been feeling really bogged down with a lot of this as well…if none of this helps, perhaps a glug of eggnog to warm the spirits? 🙂


  2. Caitlin
    Dec 22, 2011 @ 12:04:09

    As a person who will be going to Sesame Place for the holiday (!) I’ve been trying to remember that the holiday is for adults as well. I’ve been going old school and thinking about the birth of Jesus. I’ve been enjoying reading all the versions of the birth story this year, comparing and contrasting and thinking about what author (if you think the bible has authors) was trying to focus on. My parents’ minister gave a great sermon about Mary. You’d think she would be bored of coming up with Christmas sermons but Mom mentioned that she (the minister) always likes to come at the old stories from new angles. That is how I am approaching the holiday this very non-traditional for me year.


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