For weeks, I’ve been trying to write a blog post about Christmas, but continually got lost for words after the first paragraph. I kept thinking I should share how much it’s cost me this year ($500), what that money paid for (a few gifts, donations, cards and lots of postage) or how my family decided to do things differently this year… but it all felt trivial.
I don’t want to associate Christmas with money anymore. I know it’s typically the most expensive month of the year, but I still don’t want to associate Christmas with dollar signs; that’s not what it’s supposed to be about. For the first time, I’m going to make it through the holidays without an ounce of stress, because I’m not worried about what I need to buy or how much I should spend. Instead, the only thing that’s on my mind is relaxing and spending time with loved ones.
I suppose much of this does come back to the decision my family made about how to handle gifts this year. It only took one discussion for us to agree that we’re all adults, we all make our own money and buy whatever we want anyway, and we don’t want to be gifted anything we don’t actually need. So, rather than buy a bunch of gifts for the sake of exchanging them, we decided we’d all pitch in, each get a $100 stocking, and only ask for things that will fulfill a need or serve a purpose.
Dad asked us to replace his watch. Mom asked for an iPod to bring to the gym. Baby Sis asked for jeans. Baby Bro asked for more thermal shirts and socks (to survive in Edmonton). And I asked for a new pair of TOMS, because the only pair I have need to be thrown out (and yet I still wear them every day), and a bottle of nude nail polish, because I used the last of mine. (Also notice I only asked for things I’m not allowed to buy during the shopping ban.)
Could we have asked for more? Of course. But do we actually need anything more? No. No, no, no. A thousand times, no. Truthfully, we haven’t even all reached our $100 limits. My TOMS and nail polish only brought me up to $70, and I couldn’t think of anything else for my family to buy me… so that’s what I’m getting, and I am freaking ecstatic about it. Sure, there won’t be many surprises tomorrow morning, but again… that’s not what Christmas is about.
Christmas is about waking up and cooking a big breakfast together. Putting a turkey in the oven and waiting in anticipation all day. Sipping coffee and tea, while snacking on sweets and other treats. Taking the dogs for a walk. Visiting with extended family and friends. Reflecting, sharing and laughing. Making new memories. Finally filling up on turkey and Mom’s stuffing. Then sitting by the fire and watching Christmas movies until we all fall asleep. Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?
I think we’re onto something with this minimalist Christmas of ours. May it be the first of many.
Merry Christmas, friends. xo