December 15, 2010


Last week I saw a commercial for an episode of a family sitcom that made me laugh. After the parents informed the children they wanted to have a wonderful Christmas by having a simple Christmas, their daughter cried out in horror thinking they meant there wouldn’t be any presents. While I can't imagine not giving my own kids something, I have to admit there's been some Christmas's I've wondered if it was even worth it.

This year our own lot have been informed that we, too, are having a simple Christmas. Why? Because of the economy for starters, that and we have additional expenses this year with big brother serving a mission for our church. Add that to the plans we are making for a special spring break trip, and spending all of our savings on toys and other things that really don't matter just seems plain silly.

So does keeping ourselves on a budget automatically make Christmas simple? Not on your life. I estimate I will continue to spend six to ten hours a day working online at least through the day before Christmas Eve. I've had three releases within thirty days this December, and let me tell you, that does not fill this house with peace and goodwill. Actually, the old homestead is lucky to have the floor vacuumed once a week. If we can at least keep the dishes rotating in and out of the dishwasher this month, that's going to have to be good enough for me. (I'm already down to shorts in thirty degree weather because I haven't had time to wash my own laundry.) Then there's the baking expectations on the horizon. Looks like there will be a good twenty-four hours before Christmas that I get to spend in the kitchen. Lucky for me, I got most of my shopping done early.

I do believe one of the best things we can do for ourselves is find a way to keep Christmas low key. Those times really do help us remember the true meaning of the holidays. Even if one decides to have a bonanza under the Christmas tree this year, at least there are other ways to cut back, like less parties, less traveling, and lots more relaxing. I remember one year I didn't send Christmas cards out at all. Some people were offended, most didn't notice, and myself, well, after I got over the horror of being socially irresponsible, I realized what a huge burden it had taken from my shoulders to not have one little extra thing to worry about.

So have a wonderful Christmas holiday if you celebrate it. Find ways to cut back and give yourself a little breathing room. Whether it's with the budget, your time, or just the chore list, remember to Keep It Simple Stupid (K.I.S.S.). I promise you, you'll be glad you did.

P.S. I am sending cards out this year. But I may not be baking cookies…Shhh!

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