i procrastinate. i do. my mother will tell you that i wait to the last minute to do everything but she will always add that miraculously it gets done. so at christmastime one would think that i am running around like a crazy person buying gifts and wrapping last minute, throwing random things into my amazon shopping cart all while baking cookies and trimming the tree. no no. you will find me relaxing, sipping tea, and calmly writing blog posts. obviously.
christmastime can get bonkers. with all of the cool things floating around out there we build this desire to need- to want -to have. what i miss is the slowness of giving/receiving a gift. a package wrapped with care- a simple bow- a sweet name tag. you open it carefully with the anticipation of not knowing what is inside. then- the gratitude of what is inside. a small treasure. something made with love- a useful object- a token of appreciation. there is thought and meaning. you are filled with love. you probably hug the person who gave it to you.
this is my motivation. let's create christmas lists that are simple. what does this person love what lights them up. look around their house (don't be creepy) but see what they live with. have a conversation with them- have them tell you what they are interested in. the gift shouldn't be amazing because it is big or cost a fortune. it will be amazing because you took the time to think. you took the time to understand them. don't dwell or second guess yourself. make something. write a letter and tell them why they are special to you. bake. make a video for someone with you singing a song to a ukelele. be creative.
but what about the kids, you say? i was talking to a girlfriend about this the other day. the truth is some kids get a lot of presents and some get a little. it's easy to believe that kids think more is better but i find that by leading the way and setting the example that the meaning of receiving, especially at christmas, is really about love and gratitude. happiness is most certainly an inside job and hopefully by teaching them this early enough they will understand and see its beauty . enjoying this season shouldn't be dependent on how much money you have. amen. so...
here are some things we are doing/giving this year:
+ using homemade wrapping paper. the kids love this
+ homemade treats on a thrifted/antique plate- surely these taste amazing
+ decorations from outside- pinecones, acorns, clippings from the forest
+ ella fitzgerald on repeat
+ smiling at strangers
+ this mantra: something you want, something you need, something to wear, something to read
+ making an advent calendar with a tree branch and some felt
+ slow yoga- focusing on relaxation and gratitude
+ going through old toys to donate or give away
+ being a good helper and a good listener
+ letting messy happen (oh yeah)
what's on your simple christmas list?