I want to make my Christmas list but first I confess... I am a bit of a Grinch. There are things about Christmas that give me anxiety. Let's discuss.
First the decorations. I have a tiny house stuffed with 7 people, 5 of which are growing at an alarming rate. Christmas decorations tend to make me feel like the old woman that lived in a shoe, (with so many children she didn't know what to do). Closed in-if you will. If it were up to me, I would set out our little porcelain Baby Jesus, set a glowing light behind Him and call it good. Better than good even.
Second, the stuff. I have a tiny house stuffed with 7 people, 5 of which are growing at an alarming rate. Did I say that already? Anyway, the last thing we need over here is more stuff. We have enough toys, clothes, gadgets, wall hangings, enough, enough, enough. I live by a strict code of- less is more. For example, I have to my name exactly 6 pieces of jewelery. Wedding ring. Thumbprint necklace. YW Medallion. Necklace that my grandma gave me. CTR ring. Diamond earrings that Scott gave me when I got my endowments. That's it. I have one set of bed sheets, the kids have one pair of school shoes, we have one toy box and about 90% of what hangs on my walls belonged to my grandparents or was made. (Grandma's rolling pin, grandpas hand carved salt and pepper shakers, my sister Jaime's stitching of the 6 B's).
The more stuff the comes in the worse I feel. I like to throw away and clean out and make do. Now if I could only convince my kiddos that spending money on a trip together is WAY better than spending it on easy bake ovens and Lego's.
So this week I spent my life digging out. We are already at a minimum but with Christmas decorations waiting to be hung and Christmas lists stuck to my fridge, I set out to get rid of even more. I concentrated on my room. The ceiling fan looked like it was wearing a wool coat for winter.
Everyone is different when it comes to Christmas. For some the more the better. More parties, more decorations, more presents, more treats. Like all Clark Griswold. I get that. But for me, what I really want is...
A clean house. I know this doesn't matter to everyone but it matters to me. I want to stay on top of my laundry, I want the floors vacuumed and I want the bathrooms to be shiny. Sometimes I wear myself out making it happen but if the house is a dump, I feel frustrated and stressed. For me clean equals peace. I dint say perfect...I said clean.
I want to sit on the porch swing with the kids, instead of running to and fro to every party in town. I want to wrap them up in blankets and I want to sip hot chocolate and I want to count stars on a cold night. We don't get very many cold nights around here and Christmas is a good time to enjoy them in all their frosty glory. (I also want to sit in front of a lit tree late at night and in the back around our fire pan.)
I want to have meaningful family night lessons. This takes work, but anything worth doing is hard.
I want to keep up on our family scripture study. We are so close to finishing the Book of Mormon and I have a fantasy that maybe everything will work out just perfectly and we will finish on Christmas Eve. I would even settle for New Year Eve.
I want to send out Christmas cards and I want to let the kids deliver a small treat to our friends and neighbors. ( and to a few strangers)
I want the Christmas Eve program at Grandma's, that I have the pleasure of writing, to be uplifting and purposeful and I want the kids to feel happy with what they share.
I want Scott to feel loved on his birthday.
I want to go to church on Christmas day, unfrazeled and unhurried. (mission impossible)
And there you have it Santa, is that too much to ask?
The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other. ~Burton Hillis