I’ve been asked numerous times in the past few weeks if we’ve been doing anything “Christmassy”. The first time I was asked I completely panicked. I actually couldn’t think of one thing that we were doing that would fit under that title.
We hadn’t gone out to see any lights or attended any parades. We hadn’t made any visits to Santa or ice skated to Christmas music or pet real reindeer. We haven’t seen the grinch on a stage or checked out the best gingerbread house displays or driven through any sort of nativity or done anything. Like, at all.
So I started making up stuff that we’re going to do. (I kid you not)
Oh, yeah, well we’re hoping to go up grouse mountain and take in the Spirit of Christmas. I heard you can definitely catch it up there. And we’ll probably try to skate on Robson and there’s some lights that we’ll go see and maybe we’ll put some antlers on our car and…..
And simultaneously these things were coming out of my mouth and my mind was saying to me, “No you won’t. You’re not going to do any of that!”
And it was true. We won’t. Do any of it. Especially the antlers.
I get the same way when people ask me if we have plans for the weekend. Um, yeah – totally! I mean, everyone has plans for the weekend, right? There will probably be some hilarity involved and lots of awesomeness and we’ll definitely be so tired by the end of it that we’ll have to take Monday off of work – that’s how crazy our weekend will get!
But I feel it. This pressure to be doing stuff. To have things going on. To be doing the things that people do to soak up the spirit of the season otherwise we’ll miss it. It’ll all be over and we won’t have done – uh…stuff? And we certainly can’t be feeling very festive if we aren’t….er….busy? And lights – if you miss out on the lights then Christmas just might as well pass you by!
Why? I have no freaking idea…
Now don’t you dare hear me wrong. We are not grinches in this house and we’re not bah-humbugging any of you doing this stuff! It’s awesome! So I hear….
We just don’t need it this year. So why make it up? Why do I feel like I should be rattling off a list? When I’m so happy to. just. not.
So I’m here to make this public announcement. We’re not doing “Christmassy Stuff!” And we’re okay!
Christmas is happening at home for us this year. It’s happening with our wonky tree and playing hockey in the garage. It’s happening with the 3 snowflakes and the 10 billion paper airplanes we made out of music sheets. It’s happening by evenings snuggled on the couch watching Duck Dynasty while we suck on candy canes and dip them in our hot chocolate. (and Irish Cream! mmmm) It’s happening by having both Harry Connick Jr. and the Drop Kick Murphy’s sing to us. It’s happening over eating burgers and reading comics as much as it’s happening over stockings and nutcrackers.
This year we’re just letting our normal life shine Christmas as much as the tinsel. We’re playing games around the table and talking of what we’re thankful for today and calling that the spirit of the season as much as charlie brown and his little tree. We’re lighting candles and reading scripture and opening advent treats around the dinner table and we’re dancing with the vacuum cleaner to Owl City beats. We’re practicing piano and we’re going to work and we’re waking up with messy hair just like every other day of the year and it doesn’t feel less like Christmas.
What is Christmas supposed to feel like, anyways? There’s no one way to do it. There’s no certain thing that invokes the magic. There’s no elf on the shelf that can supernaturally impose the happiness and cheer. No, that’s like calling Disneyland the happiest place on earth when we know the truth is that it’s loaded with whiney children and frustrated parents.
Around here we’re just doing what we do. We’re talking Jesus and being thankful and we’re getting impatient and fighting over dumb stuff. We’re saying sorry and being silly and having debates Parents v. Children over why we should continue to let video games be a part of our home. Sure, there’s a bit more chocolate on hand and the cookies that we baked are shaped like Christmas trees (and chickens…don’t ask!) but we’re not letting some notion tell us what we should be doing this time of year or that we should be more busy!
So there you have it. If you ask, I’ll tell you we’re not doing anything. I won’t even hide behind, “less is more” because that’s not true. More is more and less is more is just what people who have less say to make it feel like they have more! So we’re doing less. And by less, I mean – less.
Oh, we’re celebrating! Just by doing nothing. And we kinda like it that way!