Friday, December 10, 2010

A Different Kind of Christmas

I invite you to read what Anne Marie at Nada Farm has to say about the busy Christmas season. Can you take a minute to read, it's not very long. Promise to come back here so we can discuss her ideas.


Her words are exactly what blogger Anne Grosvenor extolled us at the get together last year. I was shocked to learn that she passed away from cancer and I think about her and her infectious message, "support each other, be joyous!"

Fleas Navidog - Gingerbread House

Anne Marie continually lays the path for discovering what is important in our lives and how to pare things down to the essentials. We need to determine what is essential for our well being, our peace of mind and our happiness. You'd be surprised at how happy you could be after divesting yourself of layers of "junk", literally and figuratively.

Baby Jesu'

Our children are grown and we slowly came upon the ideas expressed by Anne Marie, namely cutting down on the stuff and fortifying ourselves by spending time on Christmas cooking dinner together and eating the meal we'd prepared.

The realities of our finances sped up the process. We bought less, simply because circumstances didn't allow for more. The big surprise was that we didn't feel sad or deprived in any way. Christmas was still Christmas. We had fun and no dents had been made in our holiday. The less is more attitude continued throughout the year and I've learned new and exciting ways to upcycle things.

As time goes on it's less of a struggle to fend off that "keep up with the Joneses" thought process. It's a constant battle for me. Is it for you?

Create memories this season. Do something fun. Go sledding. Make marshmallows. Have a party and make gingerbread houses together. Sit in front of the fire.



Millicent said...

What a lovely sentiment. I, too, loved her post. We all need to see what is REALLY important, and I think she's hit the nail on the head. Merry Christmas!

Leslie T. said...

In my family, we decided a couple of years ago that we all have plenty of stuff, and buying trinkets for each other wasn't productive anymore. So I proposed that we stop getting each other gifts and instead give money to the charity of our choice. My husband and I give an extra donation to World Vision every year now at Christmas, so that we can have the joy of providing food and other necessities to some of the poorest kids in the world, who otherwise would have no hope.
We also contribute to local charities that provide new clothing for children in our own city and food, etc.
It has removed the stress completely from our Christmas. We have no need to go out and shop. We do buy gifts for the young children in the family, but I just keep my eyes open during the year when we're out and about and I pick up gifts when I see something that would be just right for one of the kids.
On Christmas Day the whole family gathers for a meal and it's loads of fun.
Life is good. This scenario gives me more time to twirl around the house in a tutu and bake up yummy treats. While blasting Springsteen and Cyndi Lauper and Tom Petty Christmas tunes.
Did I mention that life is good? :) :) :) Yep. You gotta dance. You know, because, why not? Those tutus are just crying out for a good spin.
Beach day coming up on Sunday, Suzanne. It's supposed to be 79 degrees on the coast. I'll think of you and bottle up a couple of rays for you.
I hope you have a good weekend!

Lisa D. said...

Anne Marie is exactly right. This is important for the entire year, not just at Christmas. It is one of the reasons I love living where I do - out in the middle of nowhere. I always say I could never live the suburban/soccer mom kind of lifestyle. I'm all about the simple things. It's not easy at Christmas with 4 kids and a husband who keeps wanting to buy more and more stuff for them though!
One thing I would like to do more of is gifts to charity in someone's name. Several charities like Compassion, World Vision, etc. let you buy a goat in someone's name, or school supplies, and other things. I love that you get to choose something that is important to the person you are giving for.

MelissaD said...

This is finally the year where I am able to make less is more a reality. My husband has been unemployed for over a year so that definitely reduced the gift giving. Each of my kids is getting 1 gift from us and some of the family are simply getting big boxes full of homemade cookies and baked goods or needlework items from me. We are decorating gingerbread houses on Christmas Day instead of spending a lot of time opening gifts. I'm looking forward to it all :)

Anne Marie said...

Suzanne...what a surprise finding me mentioned here...
I'm honored Suzanne...thank you...