The Christmas cards collect dust on a bookshelf. The kids haven’t visited Santa. I never replaced the glass ornaments that my 2-year old smashed just after Thanksgiving in one fell swoop. We haven’t once lit our advent candles. The advent calendar is only partially opened. We never did put the lights up on the outside of our house. I also forgot to buy poinsettias.
The older I get, the less I am “into” all the frills of the holidays. I love putting out my holiday placemats and the snowman centerpiece for my kitchen island. I love playing Christmas music all day long and sitting by the fire with hot cocoa. I like baking cookies, too (though I have yet to bake them this season). I love egg nog and receiving cards from family and friends. But I hate putting up the tree, getting decorations out of the basement, and buying presents that no one really needs.
I love Christmas, but without all the trimmings.
I love having a great excuse to see people I care about. We’ve spent every weekend since Thanksgiving with our friends. The first weekend in December we were at the home of my writing buddy and her family. Last weekend we had over a dear friend from college and her family. Saturday, we had a lovely visit with our niece on the way home from college, then yesterday we cooked lunch for two other families we adore. The kids played outside in the cold air of the backyard and ran in and out of the house with mud on their shoes. Five extra kids from the neighborhood shared in the meal.
I think when my kids go off to college, I will quit setting up the Christmas tree, and dispense of hanging stockings. I’ll hold off on Christmas cards. I’ll give away most of our decorations.
Instead, I’ll use all the time I would have spent decorating or wrapping gifts, inviting friends over to share share in a cup of tea or a meal.