Monday, November 29, 2010

no tree??

We put the Christmas decorations up this weekend.  I love Christmas decorations.  It is always fun for the house to be decked out with symbols of the joy we feel because God came to be with us.  But guess what?  We didn't put up our tree this year.  I know, I know...that qualifies me as some sort of a scrooge.   We have reasons.  Traveling schedules, hubby's back issues, and mostly a desire to simplify--all played into our decision.

Plus, I have an ornament thing.  I LOVE Christmas ornaments.  Many of ours are gifts from loved ones or attached to memories of each year.  We have ornaments to remember vacations, every Disney trip, babies, new homes, our dog, and other family milestones.  We have precious homemade ornaments from the kids.  We have special ornaments in honor of the special babies that live in heaven:  Earl (Dave's sister's firstborn-1992), Aidan (our little guy-1999) and Sadie (my sister's sweet girl--2009).  We also have many ornaments that point us to Christ's birth that are special to us.  Almost all of our ornaments are packed away with care in their own wrapping, many in their original boxes.  I even have written the dates and the gift givers on most of the boxes as well.    {OK, maybe I'm a little uptight about the ornament boxes...} And we have tons.  We can't even get them all on the tree anymore.  But I love our full, eclectic, tree.

our tree last year
We watched a decorating special this weekend, and I am sure our tree breaks many of the holiday decorating rules...but who cares?  It's ours, it's special to us, and we love it.

And we didn't put it up this year.  In our {my?} desire to simplify our holiday season a bit--it was the thing if we eliminated would have the greatest impact on our time and on our energy.  As you can imagine, all that ornament abundance makes for a time consuming endeavor.  Especially on the put-away end of things.  And somehow, no one is as excited about that part...

Christmas isn't a tree, right?  I'm ALL about traditions, but am trying to learn not to put them ahead of sanity, peace and health.  I can get a little perfectionistic in my expectations.  My desire to simplify this season comes from a desire to leave space for some other traditions...celebrating advent with story and togetherness and peaceful waiting.  Those things get crowded out pretty easily when I am busy with all the have-tos and all the make-it-wonderfuls.

I'm sure none of you are scroogy-tree-skippers like me, but I love to hear creative ideas on making the season more than just a bunch of to-dos, enjoyable as they might be.  So, are any of you trying to simplify this year?


Dawn said...
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mer@lifeat7000feet said...

I don't think you're a scrooge at all...I think you're wise to choose peace over stress. We haven't put our tree up yet. I'm not in a hurry. It seems like everyone is so competitive about being the first to get theirs up these days. I'm not into competition.

Our tree doesn't hold all our ornaments either! And my mother and MIL keep giving me more. I came home with 10 new ones. Ya ya ya.

Anonymous said...

You can still do something simple that the kids will still feel like you aren't doing away with what they know. Put up a garland in a wide doorway entrance. Attach some lights, ribbon and let the kids decide what ornaments and special things they would like to see on the garland. Or give each child a small tree for their rooms to decorate. It's still simple but it will still make it feel like you are celebrating Christmas at home as well as other places.

christine said...

you are no scrooge.
my parents stopped putting up a tree after i left for college. my sister resented that a little, so she got my mom to do small christmassy things around the house, and that spread christmas from room to room.

my son is 13 and insists upon a tree. i'm feeling like i just want to string lights all over the house and have them hanging from the ceiling and just do it that way... perhaps after Geoff moves along in life.

Lea said...

What a wise decision! I have scaled back so much in recent years and what I do is very doable and takes very little time. It had gotten out of hand and I just did not enjoy it anymore, so I got rid of most of it. I now decorate our dining table, the kitchen island and we have a slimline tree and I hand the stockings.

I so hope your husband's back is getting better. I'm so grateful that I no longer suffer with mine. It is awful!

Blessings to you and yours for a great week!

Carrie said...

Dawn, if you're a scrooge than I'm an even bigger one - I stopped putting up my tree several years ago. Lack of space, curious cats and being away at Christmas time led me to this conclusion. Someday I hope to put it up again as I love all my ornaments and the cheery feeling of seeing it all lit up, but I have found other ways to make the house look Christmas-ish with a handmade wreath and decorating the mantle. Of course, whenever I really want to simplify, I just skip making my cards. :) I like the idea of giving the kids each a little tree to decorate in their room. Or make a gingerbread house as a family project. Merry Christmas!

Craig said...

Dear Scroogy tree skipper,

Agreed. Christmas is not about the tree. Our Lord could not have been born more simply. Simple honors his birth. I do have a tree though, for me it makes childhood spring eternal, and stockings too, but most of all love. I love that this is the only holiday with a whole season attached – and then a New Year tacked on the end. It make it more relaxing then say, Thanksgiving, when it’s all about one day – and really just a few hours of it. A whole season to think about the Creator of all who became like us,
and taking in all the stories of the birth,
and keeping room for them,
and Him,
in my heart.


That being said, on Christmas night you shall be visited by three…


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