So have you noticed that something has been missing here these days? Perhaps a little red and green?
I've been following what's going on in "Blogville" these days, pretty Advent calendars, sparkling Christmas decorations, tasty baked treats, and fun and creative projects for the "most wonderful time of the year"... and then I stop and think about my last five posts. Tja, and thinking about it, one would probably never even notice a color or season change.
Putting aside the fact that I have been a rollercoaster ride of being "under the weather" for the last months, there is a part of me inwardly that has said enough is enough. The past several years for me have been a gradual, but significant scaling down. Mind you, I come from the land of explode your credit card until the mountain of debt surpasses the mountain of toys that are given to happy little boys and girls. A place where, despite the fact that working moms are stretched on every side, there is still the pressure to provide the magic... the whole atmosphere, the candles, the presents, the cookies, the perfectly decorated home, the things life-time memories are made of. Each year I evaluate what I am doing that pertains to Christmas and if it actually makes sense. Don't get me wrong... I love to decorate, I love to make things pretty, I love to add that extra added touch, I love it when I find that present that makes that someone special squeal with delight... who doesn't? But I've been asking myself at what "cost" am I doing these things? Am I getting so caught up in the doing, the buying, the running, the wrapping, the decorating, the stress, the self-inflicted expectations that I have of myself that I totally miss it... miss Christmas? Am I overlooking the needy, the hungry, the hurting, just to run in the mad rat race?
But my motto for this season has been... keep it simple. The little guy actually gets only a few things for his second Christmas. Most of the gifts that I am giving are handmade. There will be food dropped off this week at the food bank. And a simple manger will be just about the only decoration that will be put out for the holidays... but isn't that the simple and humble display of love that should take the spotlight of Christmas?