Friday, December 16, 2011

Holiday Spirit Fatigue

I've been a little slow getting on the holiday bandwagon this year, and I've had a hard time putting my finger on exactly why that is.

Maybe it's the decorations. I swear stores were decorating for Christmas in August this year. Does it get earlier every year?

Or was it the music? Whenever it was that 96.5 FM started playing all holiday music, I wasn't ready for it. I find myself instinctively skipping past it on my presets in the car.

Could it be ALL the available locations to "meet Santa" in town? Scuba Santa, mall Santa, Christmas Train Santa, and sooooo many more. Is there a Chick-Fil-A cow dressed as Santa or an Elvis Santa somewhere I can visit? Can I marry Santa? How obvious is the non-realness of the man here?

And what's all this talk of an Elf on a Shelf? Is this a real thing? Apparently so. I kept thinking it was just a legend that parents told their kids to try to elicit good behavior. No, this is a real thing that we do in our country. We not only lie to our kids about a fat and jolly superhero that magically squeezes down chimneys, we also invent miniature narcs to keep them in check and make up for our terrible parenting and discipline throughout the year!

Or it could have been my five year old asking me if we could do a better job with Christmas this year because he didn't feel like they got enough presents last year and Christmas wasn't very good.

I'm officially grossed out.

Then there are all the events. Luckily we are not a family in the upper echelon of society with a pile of elite holiday party invitations. If we were I just might start shooting off my own toes one by one while I power gulp spiked eggnog. I'm not talking about the kids' events either. No, I'm completely psyched about all of the school performances, class parties and holiday crafts coming home - those make the whole season worth it! What I'm disappointed about are all of the fantastic events going on around town that I keep missing.

I missed the Festival of Trees at Philbrook and the 2nd Saturday of December. Probably the MOST fun 2nd Saturday of the year. Missed the grand opening event of the holiday pop shops downtown. We have not been anywhere to see lights, and we certainly didn't make it out to Kiddie Park tonight in Bartlesville for their Christmas event (last opportunity to ride rides before next season). And we attended a holiday parade that was NOT up to par (even the littles were so bored they started playing hide and seek).

To top it all off, the last couple of weeks I've sort of gotten over all that positive body image stuff and have been low carbing it so there hasn't been the usual hustle and bustle in the kitchen to whip up holiday sweets. Boo.

But this week, after finally getting the tree up (though it's crooked and I can't figure out why...I'm telling you this holiday season has it in for me) and seeing how happy the kids were to see it, I realized I need to get my act together. And I realized what I was missing. The little things. The spark. The JOY and the reasons behind the holidays we celebrate.

I don't have to be annoyed about commercialism or money spent on unnecessary gifts because I don't have to participate in it. I've always had an internal struggle with how to address the Santa issue, and thus far have played along with the myth, but I refuse to use the story as a means to coerce my children into being nice rather than naughty. I'd much rather be consistent daily in my expectations of them so we can all celebrate when celebration calls!

I realized what I needed more than anything was just time with the kids and making Christmas into what we want it to be. So, last night we did!

We got started on Christmas cards for teachers, family and friends.

Admired Aidan's gingerbread house he made at school,

and Alec was inspired to make his own!

So we did our best with what we could find in the cabinets and Halloween candy baskets.

Aidan opted for a leftover cupcake from Papa's birthday party last weekend.

Alec kept getting distracted while building his gingerbread house.

Apparently you need something stronger than icing.

But we got a decent temporary fix,

and got to the decorating!

We got some sprinkles and a few more candies, but as predicted it fell again.

I don't think Alec was all that disappointed and started to realize his main goal in building the house was really to eat it!

Then I decided Mommy needed some crafts.

A couple of sweet boys decided to join me. *smiles*

I love to watch Alec cut.

We adore glitter glue. It makes glitter totally possible without a gigantic mess!

Alec had a different idea of "making presents" than I did. He kept finding things in the house he wanted to wrap up with construction paper to give as gifts. Here's the gift he wrapped for his cousin "Little George!"

And here's the sweet front of the card Aidan made for his cousin Gabby. Can you tell they're excited to visit their newest cousins in Florida next week?!

Welcome to our Winter Wonderland!

I think I'm officially over my Holiday Spirit fatigue.

I'm going to stop looking at Holiday Happening calendars and getting stressed out about all the things I'm [not] missing out on, because I have all the Holiday activities and spirit I need right in my own home!

Love and Honey,


Deborah Warren said...

Loved this story and the photos! Thanks for sharing this slice of your life. You're a positive gal and have a lovely sense of documenting your family's life together. It's a struggle to sow into children the values you desire while they're also being carried up the river by the culture around them, isn't it? What a challenge as parents you guys face.

We, too, miss out on most of the Christmas "happenings" simply because of involvement with real life and our desire to stay away from too much consumerism. We also take it all much slower and simpler. Got the tree Thursday afternoon (keep it up for 2 weeks or just a wee bit more), will decorate it tomorrow (18 December), and will go to the carol service after that, with a house party following it. Going to Christmas Eve service at midnight Saturday. Christmas will be spent with a friend being with us and staying the night, and then Boxing Day we'll have a few more friends over. We don't buy a lot of presents but do give to someone who doesn't have anything and spend time with friends. My desire over the past few years has been to celebrate Advent more and commercialism less. It's a work in progress.

Happy Christmas to you, sweet friend. Love you!

Missy Rose said...

thanks for your compliments and encouragement, deb! something that boosted our "true" holiday spirit was a dvd megan let us borrow called "why do we call it christmas," by the same folks who make veggie tales. EXCELLENT explanation of why we give gifts, cut down trees, history of st. nick, and the definition of "christ mass". soooooo good. next year i want to incorporate more giving to others and serving, and like you, the celebration of advent. as the kids get older they are more and more concerned with presents and getting what they ask for and want...i think the more i combat that with giving and concern with others, and celebrating jesus, the better!


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