Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Simpler Christmas update

I thought I'd just pop in real quick and give you an update on how my plan to have a simpler Christmas is going. (You can catch up on the full plan here.)

So far we have...

--started our Jesse Tree....

I can tend to want to over-do projects and make them more elaborate than I have the energy/resources for, but I stuck to my plan here and went as simple as I knew how. I just printed out the ornaments, cut them out and had the boys help me glue them to red, green and blue construction paper. After punching holes and tying raffia through them they were done!

I plan to use these in years to come, so I was content with how easy that was. For our tree we are just re-using the branches and vase from our Thankful Tree.

Now here the update on how it's actually going.... we have stayed a good 4 days (or more) behind consistently. Manny can barely sit through the short devotion much less understand it. We ad-lib and change words a lot so Isaiah can understand it. It's a struggle and we miss a lot of days.

On the plus side, Isaiah has really enjoyed it and it has done all of us a lot of good to just sit and hear the Word together as a family. I love how it's stringing together the stories of the old testament with each one pointing to Jesus. I really do feel that my heart is engaged more this year than in years past, and that's what I've prayed for.

--Put up our Christmas tree and a few decorations...

I really wanted a table top tree this year, but didn't have the energy to go to a store and didn't want to spend any money on it. My parents gave us their tree, but after assembling every. single. freaking. branch. we stepped back and realized how huge it was. It completely overwhelmed our small space and so back in the box it went. In exhaustion, we settled for our normal tree (the one where you can see the pole through the branches at just about every level), Josh strung 4 completely different kinds of lights on it, we put up only our very favorite ornaments and called it a day. It is a sight. Bless it.

{I did decorate with a few new and really inexpensive items that I've enjoyed. I'll post about those later.}

-- I have almost completely caught up on all my etsy orders....

and honestly, this has demanded most of my time. I forgot to mention in my original post that my shop turns into more than a full time job during the holidays, which is a blessing, but is all-consuming for awhile.

Our house is a everywhere, crumbs dug into the carpet and all over the kitchen floor, laundry clean but unfolded and piling up, dishes done sometimes and sometimes not, dirty toilets, I've found crayon drawings on permanent furniture, there's yogurt that's been stuck on the table for days, I've found the fridge door standing wide open for who knows how get the idea. It's real life around here, y'all.

(this is semi-picked up and un-staged)

--Christmas cards are done!

--Shopping almost done...except for the gifts I'm making this year... (Amazon has been one of my very best friends this year. I heart you, Amazon.).

--My brother's wedding is this weekend and most preparations are in place....

Sigh. There's still plenty to be done and then there are the actual holidays, but there has been a shift in my mentality this year. Maybe part of it is being pregnant, but I have just given myself an out from the pressure and expectations that I normally put on myself. (Maybe you do it too and they're ridiculous, right?!)

It's ok if my house isn't gorgeous. It's ok if my gifts aren't high end or beautifully wrapped. It's ok if we don't get to our Jesse tree devotions every night. It's ok if the food I bring to the party came from a box. It's ok if my own family eats a lot of pizza, soup from a can and grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner right now. It's ok if we're not spending our nights by the fireplace (that we don't have), sipping hot cocoa and singing carols, but instead are passed out on the couch by 8:30pm. It's ok that we have to turn down some things because we are desperately trying to preserve sanity. It's ok that I can't do the "super easy" diy projects I've pinned on pinterest. It's ok that I can't enter a fancy blogger's Christmas Tour of Homes.

But, you know? I don't think any of us feel like we're missing out in the least. I'm actually really enjoying this season with my family. I'm enjoying the freedom of not doing it all.

This..... isn't reality for me....

...and isn't this kinda how it was for Him?

{A photo of a manger from the period of time of Jesus' birth.}

I think it was pretty simple for Him too.... and then He went and saved the whole wide world.

So, deep breaths. It's ok.


Anonymous said...

This post blesses my heart and brings tears to my eyes.

I am right there with you. It's ok that I do not have one decoration up and my neighbors yards look like they're from a fancy magazine. I am going to enjoy my time with all the people around me...and just be grateful that He came and will come again.

Love, Mom

Meghann said...

Love it! Your tree is beautiful by the way. This post was lovely.