Happy, happy, joy, joy? Not quite -- that is one mad little girl.
A picture says a thousand words -- this one -- cheer is not always easy during the "holidays". Just as darkness, bitter cold or miserable dampness, and stomach bugs or never ending coughs descend on the lives of Midwesterners, so does the added stress of the holidays. Now some may thrive on the shopping, wrapping, baking, and hoop-la. Others, well those who like to keep in simple may have a hard time keeping a joyful spirit.
Yes, I "give" to the holiday traditions. Some I enjoy, such as mailing holiday cards. Others, shopping mainly, I detest. Gift giving in my mind should spring from the heart, not a date set on the calendar and reinforced by Madison Avenue. Buy, buy and buy more. Really? Does our family really need more stuff? I argue no, we need more experiences, time together. Yet we have small children and Christmas is the joy of the year -- or so they are learning from their peers.
As we slip and slide our way towards The Extravaganza (what my husband and I refer to as the Christmas holiday) I work to find a balance between our simple, frugal life that emphasizes quality and time over cheap never ending stuff. Thoughts or suggestions from those who have traveled this path are welcome. Until then, I am taking calming breaths, setting realistic limits, and seeking out the little annual traditions associated with this time of year that put a smile on my face.
Thanks for reading -- many posts are fluttering in my mind, but with a husband traveling abroad for an extended period of time I am flying solo as a parent who has children at an early start school and a busy to-do list at the office. Posts will keep coming, just sporadically.