Christmas is upon us and I'm still trying to convince myself of it. This year has been so different in many ways- but I think for the better.
I have never been away from 'home' on Christmas. Even after Paul and I were married and had Isabelle, we spent Christmas eve and morning with my parents. This year, we are staying home and they will be visiting us sometime later on Christmas day. While I'll miss some of the 'traditions' of my childhood, we hope to create some new ones as our own little family unit this year.
I will missing seeing and/or participating in the Christmas eve service that my dad always puts on, but this year I'll get to experience our church home- Ada Bible's- Christmas eve service. I will enjoy celebrating Christmas with a community we have grown to love and respect.
I love to decorate for Christmas. I don't have much in the way of decorations, but it makes me feel warm and cozy to put up a few glowing lights and some cute little snowmen. This year, I had to simplify. Due to a slight scrooge of a husband who refuses to take part in any sort of holiday decor, its always up to me to get the job done. Being nearly 9 months pregnant, setting up a 7ft tree seemed a little too overwhelming (as did the thought of taking it down post c-section with a newborn). So, I improvised and set up just the top of the tree and one or two layers underneath it. Its kind of retarded looking- more fat than tall. But it has worked perfectly. I was able to set it up in just an hour or so, it is all at Izzy's height so she enjoys 'redecorating' it everyday. It gives me the feeling I love, without the hassle this year. (I so need to convince my husband to let me get a pre-lit tree one of these days!).
Due to my deep desire to not be fighting crowds while ridiculously pregnant- I finished my shopping about 2 or 3 weeks ago. Its freeing to know its done, and all the presents are wrapped and ready to go- just it case little Lili makes a surprise early appearance. And due to financial issues, Christmas shopping has been simplified significantly. Small budgets=chance to be creative=really taking my time to figure out what I want to give to someone.
I usually love Christmas parties and get-together's. The food. The friends. The fun. Even the families (most of the time!). This year my body is simply not letting me enjoy large groups as I usually do, therefore we are having to say 'no' to more and more things. But, it has been slightly freeing. Sure, I have a great excuse being full term and all, but it is nice to know that the world doesn't end if you say 'no' to something. Sure, some people get disappointed, but it is healthy to just say 'no' sometimes. That doesn't come easily for me.
Simplicity has been good. It has been healthy. I feel calm, collected, and at peace. I feel as though this year more than ever I can focus on the true meaning of Christmas- the gift of a savior. No longer are trips up North, parties, food, decorations, presents taking up my thoughts and activities. I'm focused on simply enjoying the holiday for what it is. A celebration of life. A celebration of a loving God who gave us the best present ever!
It will be a different kind of holiday this year, but I'm looking forward to it.
And, it doesn't hurt that a mere 5 days after we celebrate the birth of a King, we will celebrate the birth of our newest family member :)