Christmas has always been one of my favorite holidays. I have great memories from my childhood and I love the sights, sounds and smells of the holiday season. But in the last few years, I’ve noticed that my fervor for Christmas has waned a bit. Everything seems to be too overwhelming, complicated and stressful.
Two years ago, I put up a tree without any ornaments. I thought people would think I was weird, but I got a lot of support for it. It felt…clean, fresh and uncluttered. I love my tree and almost always use white lights (which my husband thinks is boring). This time of year is always so dark and dreary in this part of PA and the white lights brighten my mood and the room. Without all the ornaments getting in the way, I was able to simply bask in the glow of the warm lights. I felt calm and peaceful when I looked at that tree.
I don’t have a ton of decorations (although my husband would disagree)(he should see some of the stuff I see from my friends on Facebook!) but I keep them in four large tote boxes. Each year my hubby would bring all of those totes up into the living room and I’d work at digging out the decorations I wanted and display them around the first floor. But the totes often frustrate me. They get in the way and I can’t seem to decorate fast enough so I can remove them from my space. I hate anything out of order and my OCD just goes into overdrive.
This year, my hubby has been swamped with work and doctorate schooling so I decided to just work at it as I could. I can’t bring the totes up the steps myself (narrow steps) so I have gone down to the basement the last three days and searched through the boxes for decorations I’d like to display instead.
I found it fun and exhilarating. I got exercise from traversing the steps so much and I wasn’t overwhelmed by the four large boxes sitting in my way. As I decorated, my Christmas spirit rekindled and I felt the urge to do more and more. (Thankfully, I only have so many decorations!)
In addition, the hubs helped me with some outside decorations that I’ve been wanting for awhile. It finally looks like I want it to look out there and I’m happy. Our neighbors all have brilliant displays involving multiple colored lights, stockings, sleds, reindeer and snowflakes, but I have a simple sled from my youth and two small trees – with white lights. I won’t win any decorating contests, but I love it and that’s all that matters to me.
We still have the tree to put up…maybe this weekend when the hubs gets time to help me. The empty space in the front room is killing me so I hope he has time… I’m not sure if I’ll use ornaments this year. Maybe I’ll do a variation. Whatever it is, I want it to be soothing, calming and non-stressful.
How about you? Do the holidays overwhelm you and stress you out? Have you thought about what you can do to make it better? Break out of old habits and societal norms – just do what YOU feel is right for you.