Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.

...Robert Frost...

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Christmas Musings

It feels like I've barely recovered from Christmas last year, and it's Christmas again! Where has that year gone??

I just can't seem to conjure up the Christmas spirit this year. It's just not there at all and I don't even seem to be able to pretend that I have any.

Last year was the first time ever we had woken up in our own home on Christmas day. It was something I had longed for for a very long time.

And I loved it. I loved everything about Christmas.

I loved the atmosphere. I loved the decorations.

I loved the shopping.

I loved the present opening.

I loved the sense of family. I loved the joy it put on people's faces.

But last year something happened. I felt a real shift in my thinking. I can't even quite pinpoint what it was. But I think I know what caused it. It was the excessiveness of Christmas. Was Christmas last year any more excessive than any other? No, I don't think so. But I just didn't feel comfortable about a few things any more. Perhaps it would all blow over.

Last weekend we put up our Christmas tree. I forced myself to do it in the vague hope that it might kick start my inner christmas enthusiasm. But not to be. In reality I spent a grumpy few hours trying to get knots out of the beads that go on the trees. I put christmas carols on to try and get in the mood, but nothing. The stirrings I felt last year were compounding.

I was really trying to put my finger on the problem. I kind of knew, but it was still a little vague in my mind. It just seemed difficult to put into words. Then I saw this photo and it just seemed to sum it up concisely.
It's not that I don't like Christmas anymore. It's just that I think it's time to get back to the reality of what Christmas is really all about. Do I really need that new ornament? No. I mean, what have they got to do with Christmas anyway? Do I really need to feel the pressure to give everyone I know or am vaguely related to a gift? No. Do I really need to ask everyone what they want and then feel extreme sense of guilt if I don't give it to them? No.

So I have made myself some resolutions-

1. Not to buy any Christmas decorations ( except for the one that I bought ages ago before I felt so convicted!)

2.For every dollar we spend this year on Christmas donate fifty cents back to a worthy appeal

3.To try and involve ourselves more in the true meaning of Christmas but giving some time to a charity. This one is a bit harder to organise at this late stage, but I'm hoping something will come together. Stay tuned.

I still love Christmas and I really struggled to put how I was feeling into words. I still love getting together with the family, I still love the joy it puts on people's faces, I still love the decorations, I still love buying and giving gifts.

But I hope in some small way my focus is beginning to change.

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