For a couple days now, I've been working on a blog about how to simplify the holidays. I deleted it, however, because at the end of the blog, I figured out that being spirited isn't really all that complicated.
You decorate a tree, give some gifts, bake some cookies, plan a few family meals. Eh voila! You got yourself a solid holiday.
Little One is full of cheer and is pulling the rest of the sluggish family along. He still believes in Santa and has played "Jingle Bells" on the piano at least 80 times. He has already watched Charlie Brown, Frosty, and Rudolph. And he begs every evening to decorate our tree (standing in our house now, undecorated, for six days). But it's hard to pull everyone together on weeknights, so tonight, Friday, is his night.
Our shopping is 98% finished, and admittedly, we've fully embraced the consumerism of the season. I always think we're going to cut back, but Husband rallies with bargains he finds online. Plus, I don't feel like we bought stuff the kids won't use. That seems to be an upside to older children--they actually want practical gifts, usually of an electronic nature. But Will even put a snowboarding helmet on his list.
I gave up holiday cards a couple years ago for eco reasons. I'll also cut back on cookies this year because I'm the person who eats the most and needs the least. The kids cherish decorating my great-grandmother's cut-out cookies though, just as I did as a kid. (Mia says the cookies are her favorite holiday tradition.) I have some dough already in the freezer, so maybe we'll just make a small batch and call it a Christmas day.
So I just need to pull out some decorations, find a good Santa for Max to visit, bake a few cookies--and I have more than two weeks to pull it all off. So why was I looking to simplify?
I think I actually need to simplify some other areas of my life, not the holidays. Christmas comes only once a year, and it really does bring out the happy in people. Plus, I think we have only another two or three years left of the Santa Show. So it's definitely time for me get on the sleigh and get a shot of seasonal joy.
Or maybe a bottle of seasonal joy (one with lots of bubbles), a Starbucks Cranberry Bliss bar, and some Christmas tunes. How simple is that? Ho, ho, ho!