Oh My! Another Christmas has come and gone. I’m not ready for this Christmas season to be over.
I’m not ready to take down my tree and I’m not ready for all the gift giving, Christmas movies, Christmas crafts, Christmas foods, Christmas books, and holiday schedule to be over.
I guess that’s a good sign that I enjoyed and savored the season this year. Which, that is true. I had a fun season and enjoyed my kids and husband very much.
As I started to reflect over the season there were several “traditions”or things we didn’t do this year. But, you know what?? We all survived and still had an excellent Christmas filled with love, laughter, board games, snuggles on the couch and lot of giggles and smiles.
Here’s what we didn’t do this year:
We didn’t wear Christmas jammies on Christmas Eve.
Gasp! What?!?!? Nope, I didn’t go out and buy new Christmas pajamas. Instead, they wore whatever they had and we took a blurry picture on Christmas morning to top it off.
We didn’t do our advent activities.
I have about 4 children’s advent books that are AWESOME and I love them. They are filled with fun and meaningful activities that we do every year. I also didn’t get out our fancy advent count down calendar boxes that are filled with goodies to open each day. Nope, didn’t get them out at all. Instead, we read part of the Christmas story every night straight from the Bible and the kids acted it out like charades. It was a blast! I know they retained the information from this because on Christmas Eve as we were watching The Nativity Story, my 3 year old would shout out with JOY when his parts came up in the movie that he had acted.
We didn’t decorate cookies.
Instead, we made them and ate them without icing and snuggled up to watch a movie.
We didn’t go to a living nativity.
We do this every year and have a lot of fun. But, this year we simply couldn’t squeeze it in the schedule without over committing ourselves. We still survived.
I didn’t cook a traditional meal.
Nope, on Christmas Eve and Christmas day we kept it simple and enjoyed other things. (However, there is a big fat turkey thawing out in my refrigerator right now. I’m going to make my family a big traditional meal this week. We are going to set the table nice and just celebrate being family and doing life together.)
I didn’t make Christmas candy for every person in our town and their cousin’s brother’s sister’s friend.
Okay, I know that is a bit of an exaggeration. But the point is, we usually spend
weeks days in the kitchen preparing our homemade goody bags for everyone we know. I LOVE doing this. But, with having a new addition to the family, this is an area that I simplified for the season to squeeze in more “down time” with my crew and less time cleaning up the kitchen alone. We did make our annual caramels to share. But, we did not make the long list of holiday goodies that we usually do. Guess what? We survived. We are happy and had a Merry Christmas.
No Christmas cards.
Okay, I am pretty sad about this one. Each year we send out a Christmas letter to friends and family. It was on the to-do list each week since Thanksgiving. But, it got to be December 20th and we still hadn’t written the letter and didn’t have a picture of the new party of 6 to send with it, so we just decided that friends and family will get the updated summary of our lives next year. I’m sad we didn’t get the cards out, because I do enjoy sending them and receiving cards, but we didn’t make it happen. Guess what? We survived and our friends and family still love us.
I didn’t get on any social media to share a “Merry Christmas” from the Farris Family picture on Christmas Day.
I didn’t get on any social media Christmas Eve or Christmas day. I made sure to leave my phone hidden in my bedroom so that I wouldn’t pick it up to share a picture. Social media world went on without me. No one missed my pictures and I didn’t “miss out” by not seeing anyone else’s. Christmas still happened. I enjoy sharing pictures online and looking at all of yours! But, I wanted to be completely focused on the “Here and Now” and not miss anything with my family. (I actually have that sign hanging in my house where I can see it every day! I love it.)
We didn’t coordinate on Christmas with our outfits for our Christmas day picture.
I made sure that everyone had something “Christmassy” to wear on Christmas for the annual family picture on Christmas day. No one wanted to wear the awesome sweater vests or uncomfortable Christmas outfit that I had ready for them. I didn’t fight it. So we took our picture with one of my kids wearing a jedi costume, one wearing an Elsa dress, and one wearing a shirt that didn’t match their pants. Oh, and I didn’t dress up either. I had on a throwback Razorback shirt with some leggings. Guess what? I still have a picture to look back on when I’m old. The picture will still make me cry because my kids are so cute and growing so fast. The picture will stay make me remember the love of family and how much I enjoy being a mom and wife to this crew.
I’m sure there are other “traditional” things that we didn’t do.
But, I can tell you what we did do.
We played a lot of games. We watched Christmas movies. We visited with each other. We spent time together. We went on hikes. We laughed and enjoyed each other. We poured ourselves into encouraging our kids and sharing the Christmas gospel message with them. We had a very Merry Christmas.
We hope you did too! (Oh and we did make some ornaments. Maybe I’ll share those this week too even though it’s after Christmas.)