16 December 2012

The No Obligation Christmas

Well Halloween is over, the costume was worn and candy was collected, Kyla was a Starbucks Frappucino (you can check her costume out here) and she was a cute one at that, even cuter when she scored her dad and I free coffee at our local Starbucks! But now that the dust from Halloween has settled I will admit I have moved on to full out Christmas mode.  I am determined this year to be organized, deliberate and calm this Christmas season creating what I hope will be a stress free first Christmas for my baby girl and family.  So since Christmas is very much on my mind I thought I would share a little in my own journey to what I am calling the 'no obligation Christmas'.

I grew up celebrating only one Christmas and this was always on Christmas day.  December for me was pretty laid back; my Dad's work Christmas party, a few other family social engagements once or twice in the month but mostly my immediate family spent our December evenings and weekends watching Christmas specials, tobogganing, building snowmen etc.  Sounds pretty magical eh!?  It was, it really was and I have spent a lot of time thinking through why my Christmases in the recent past have been filled with stress, fatigue and a general sense that the month and holiday season was moving too fast.

I know part of this reason is that I have grown up and suddenly I am the one who has to shop for presents and organize social engagements with friends and family but I can't help but wonder if I could do something more deliberate to slow Christmas down so as to experience a little more of the magic I did when I was a child.

This past Christmas seemed to be the worst as I was planning a major event at work and was almost 8 months pregnant.  I was so tired by the first week of December and was an awful wife by the time my husbands birthday came around not really having time and energy to pull off the usual festivities that coincide with a birthday in the Potter house (we celebrate birthday week in these parts). Christmas came and went, I honestly can't recall much of it, and by New Year I was spent.  I remember sitting on my couch depressed that I could not partake in wine as the bell dropped and basically immediately went to bed exhausted from what had been a long month.  Once the Christmas season had past and we had recovered my husband and I began to think through what kind of Christmas we wanted to celebrate once our very ripe at the time baby would arrive.  We talked a lot about how we had lost the anticipation of Christmas and that giving had become more of a chore then out of love.  We both desired a Christmas season filled with family time and activities which would remain special to this time of year. So now that the Christmas season is upon us we are beginning to think through how we can make this happen.  Lots to think about indeed!

Stay tuned for my next post:  Rules to the 'no obligation Christmas'.

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