Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Too Much Christmas Too Early

I'm not a Scrooge. Really.

But, I am not ready to deck the halls and listen to Christmas carols yet. It still feels too early.

One reason I've spent so much time and energy to declutter, which I think I've done a pretty good job of over the years, is to simplify my life. Jumping into Christmas weeks too early seems counter productive.

I realize we are in the season of Advent. But, I don't think Advent has to include all the bells and whistles of Christmas. Does it? What do you think?

I know I can't go there in my own home least I feel overwhelmed and well, uncomfortable, with the amount of stuff in my way when there's still weeks to go to the big day.

Here are a few pre-Christmas things I'm not embracing this year (or any year for most of them).

1. Early Christmas carols. I avoid the all-Christmas carol radio station like the plague at this point in the year. The one in our area has been playing carols since well before Thanksgiving. My favorite radio station has started adding the occasional carol to their line up. I'm not ready. I change the station. Maybe next week I'll happily sing along. But, not today.

2. Early decorations. There are families around here who already have their Christmas trees up. I know it's not terribly early for that, but if I put it up this early, it's dusty, dilapidated and disheveled by Christmas Day. We're getting it this weekend, which I'm feeling is still a tad early. But, I think the kids will have my head if I don't do it soon. 

3. Elf on the Shelf. I will never embrace this creepy little dude that seems to have become a new tradition. Not only does he give me nightmares, but he seems like a lot of work. Every day, the parents are supposed to pose him in some kind of new, strange location in the house. That means I'd probably wake up in the middle of the night in a panic because I forgot to move the elf. You know the dads of America aren't doing it, right? It's just another thing to drive moms crazy!

Way too creepy and high maintenance for me!

4. Over-the-top anticipation from the kids that lasts weeks. I have one child prone to anxiety. Holiday excitement is almost more than he can handle. If things stay low key, he's good. The minute we start decking the halls, his anxiety climbs. Why? I have no idea. But, it tanks any holiday cheer I might have.

5. Christmas cards. I wrote and sent Christmas cards for years. I dreaded it every year. I stressed about it. I did all the work myself. This is yet another thing that us women have burdened ourselves with. Last year, I stopped. It was very freeing. I'm going to continue my tradition of not sending holiday cards. I do, however, wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. That should cover it, right?

6. Egg nog. Have you looked at the fat, calorie and sugar content on a carton of egg nog? It's a guaranteed 5 pound weight gain if I start drinking it this early.

What about you? What can you live without in the weeks and days leading up to Christmas?

24 comments:

  1. I don't have the elf on a shelf, but I did for awhile -- not to move around or spy but because it reminded me of a decoration that my folks had years and years ago (and it wasn't a spy then either -- it was just cute). I am listening to Christmas music because the alternative is some bizarre music my husband likes ;-) And I like doing cards because I feel like I'm formally checking in with friends and family (we have a very, very large extended family and they are not all on Facebook). But we got rid of two thirds of our decorations in preparation for the move to current downsized home -- and I expect more to go when I pull out the boxes and realize there is still no more room.

    But I don't throw holiday parties; I've told my friends I would rather get together for lunch or dinner than exchange gifts; and the tree won't happen until the weekend after next when the youngest is home from college to help pick, haul and decorate (we don't think we can wait until 21st to do it: we love the smell of a real tree and want to enjoy it).

    We do see A Christmas Carol every year -- that's our big tradition and I love it. But the important thing is for everyone to pick what is important to them and leave out the rest: we don't do lights outside beyond maybe a wreath on the door; we aren't going to make sugar cookies this year unless the boys want to take it over because my doctor told me to quit eating grains and I can't make them without eating them (heck, if they make them, they might have to lock them up when they are not around). I like this freedom to pick and choose.

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    1. I have heard of the less-stressful approaches to the elf on the shelf, like what you do. From what I've read, it's actually an older tradition from the 60s that's suddenly taken off like wildfire. I love A Christmas Carol! We've seen it performed live a few times. Enjoy!

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  2. Keeping it simple is good. Also asking what meaning it has for you, your husband and your kids.

    "Have breakfast with Santa," is an event at a local church in my town; such an event let's me know that even a Christian church has become secular. My own church doesn't do decorations in the sanctuary, and although this was hard for me at first when I married my current husband, I love that fact now.

    I have lived several places and have cousins all over the place. Sometimes Christmas is a really good time to catch up with letters and cards. But I do not get offended if someone doesn't send me a card if I sent them one. We have so many ways to connect these days--Facebook, Twitter, Texting, and really the postage is quite high. I want my family to read my blog, but know many of them do not--so cards are good. Expensive gift giving is over-rated also. We can give in other ways--listening, personal notes.

    But do not take my Swedish Christmas things away for me! I may not make all the Swedish cookies, but I do value my Swedish Christmas traditions--except Lutafisk. Ufda!

    I have one bone to pick, however. We are so politcally correct that Christ is taken out of Christmas in fear that we may offend someone. We Christians have a right to celebrate our faith or not to celebrate a secular Christmas as we see fit. Some of my Christian friends do not do Christmas because it has become too secular and they want to teach their children other values.

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    1. I agree that the political correctness has gone too far. What a nice tradition to have your Swedish Christmas things still! They sound wonderful!

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  3. We normally put up our Christmas decorations the first weekend of December. We're moving and closing on our house next Friday. I want my Christmas stuff out, but that would be pointless. We, like you, do not do Elf on the Shelf. I'm a working mother whose husband works out of town during the week and is home only on weekends. That is just too much for me to concern myself with. I enjoy the Christmas cards, but this year I am only sending out a few to my family and some close friends. Nothing crazy. :)

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    1. "Nothing crazy" is a good motto for the holidays. :)

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  4. I am missing something. I do not know about the elf on the shelf.

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    1. Carol - You're not missing anything! lol But, I'm surprised you haven't seen him all over Pinterest. He's everywhere!

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    2. I saw in the paper that the movie based on the book in on CBS Dec. 4th.

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    3. Dec. 14th I meant, not that I will watch it.

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    4. We won't be watching it here, either!

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    5. Carol Noren Johnson - You are truly blessed. This elf thing is taking over the planet!

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  5. Oh my GOD, I know what you mean about the Christmas carols. I'm a choir teacher, and my show choir does this massive holiday show every year. We start it before school starts. I shit you not - I have been dealing with Christmas since AUGUST.

    I'm also a Christmas caroler as a side gig, so I get entirely too much holiday music way before Halloween most years. Le Sigh.

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    1. Do you still even like carols after all that? lol I'm sure you bring lots of joy to your audience, though!

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  6. Hi there, I found your blog while looking for some inspiration to get my house cleaned. Ha! Chuckling here and then some more after reading your post. We are taking a break from all of it this year. No tree, no baking, no singing, no decor and best of all NO gifts! Feels great at the moment but we'll have to see how it feels on Christmas morning. At least there is no stress and no one else to please. I'll send my kids and grand kids a nice package in February or so. Did it last year and my daughter said the kids loved it more than Christmas it's self. They were under no pressure to dream of all the crap they thought they needed and so they enjoyed what they received even more. Works for us.

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  7. You sound just like my mom who doesn't like looking forward to the Christmas season for the exact reason of having to clean it up. She is just getting done cleaning up after Thanksgiving. I keep telling her that she needs to hire experts on cleaning in Lansdowne PA to take care of the holiday clean up for her.

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  8. There have been so many creepy pics of these elves on Facebook. I Love it but it does creep me out!


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  9. They have been pushing up Christmas for years, I''m glad to see others are seeing it too. For me, I refuse to shop for Christmas until I've finished with Thanksgiving!

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  10. This is quite true, I heard the first Christmas tune this year on the radio in the second week of November. :) And I agree about eggnog, it should be saved for the special occasion.

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Thanks!