Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Drastic Simplification

Christmas is going to have to be very simple this year. This will not be the year of clever handmade gifts, or complex cookie trays, or elaborate parties. In fact, we won't even be attending any parties. The only company we will be having for awhile is the kind that will clean the house when they arrive, fix and serve the food, and then clean it all up. (We do know some amazing people like that.)

What we do have, though, is quite enough:

The Tree: I have to have a tree. A real tree. Having grown up in the rural Northwest, I find it as much a piece of home as a piece of Christmas.

Even our first Christmas, when I was sicker than this and we lived an apartment so overcrowded with furniture for a house that you need never touch the floor, we chopped the bottom three feet off the tree and put it on the coffee table. (This turned out to be cheaper than buying one sized for the task.)

This year the tree is standing (thanks to that helpful company) full-sized on the floor. It smells wonderful and not at all like food. We left off a lot of the ornaments, but it still looks lovely.

Music: Even I can handle popping a CD in and pushing play once or twice a day. We can also sing Christmas songs.

Advent calendar: We have the felt one from my childhood, with an animal or person from the nativity to turn over each day. The ducklings also have a set of nativity blocks made by my siblings. They like to rock the sheep and Baby Jesus. So far no one has turned up the nativity set proper, but maybe someone will before the month is out.

Presents: This is not a great year for presents on the time or money angle, but there are enough things picked up here and there that I'm sure the ducklings will have a great time on Christmas morning. (Although wrapping is still in doubt.) Everybody else will have to content themselves with pictures.

Christmas Cards: I'm still hoping to get these out before the new year. I just lack the address labels now.

Some things we won't have that I will really miss:

Christmas play: We've had to give it up. I would be lucky to even attend it, much less rehearse or perform. And DOB is simply having to spend too much time on his feet. Maybe next year; and then D3 can star as baby John the Baptist.

Advent devotional box: This is entirely my fault. If I had just put it all back together properly when I put it away last winter, it would be ready to use. But it's not, and it's not going to be. I'm going to try to do something simpler and shorter with a lovely book we got from the library that has the Christmas text mingled with gorgeous Renaissance art prints.

Gifts from the kids: I really love having the kids make Christmas gifts for people. Alas, there are very few crafts that can be done successfully by a 2- and 3-year-old without any preparation, supervision, or clean-up.

If I felt well enough to miss Christmas cookies, I would feel well enough to make them. If I felt well enough to miss parties, I would feel well enough to attend them.


Steve said...

Glad to be of service.

Carrie said...

It sounds like you are going to have a great Christmas whether you do or do not "put out" a lot of effort for it.

Beyond the Christmas letter, I have no big projects in the works. We do artificial trees (since I grew up in Texas this is of no consquence to me) and all I did this year was pull out the tree and the lights. A little sad but I don't feel like fighting J2 over it very much. Not touching the tree has been learned (almost -- and only through "encouragement") but the idea of more things to put in the mouth is so unappealing to me.

Couple that with the fact that I don't feel like unpacking ANYthing until we are in our OFFICIAL house forever, I remain extremely unmotivated this Christmas.

the Joneses said...

Sounds like a good Christmas to me, except for the too-sick-to-function part.

-- SJ