My girlfriend told me their plans for the PA day that we had today.
They were going to drive an hour outside the city to a local farm and get out and search for the ideal, perfect Christmas tree, chop it down by themselves, then head home to decorate while sipping hot chocolate.
In my mind, I thought, “Ooh, ahhh, what a great idea. Finding and chopping your very own Christmas tree. What a great idea. What an amazing tradition. Maybe we should….”
What am I saying?
Didn’t I just have a long conversation with myself, my husband and my BFF about “keeping it simple”?
I know, but chopping your own tree? Really cool!
But we barely have time all together over Christmas as it is (’tis the seson that truly sucketh for divorced families fa la la)!
Over the past few days, I have literally been thinking of everything we “have” to do around Christmas time, and in the spirit of “do everything from a place of goodness”, I was evaluating the activities and traditions that we did do.
I was saying to Rob, sometimes I feel the “fancy” things that we do with the kids end up going “unnoticed anyways”. Whether we take them to the local tobogganing hill, or the biggest one in the city – usually goes unnoticed. The local skate rink vs the light and music filled one? Little difference. Chop a tree down, vs walk to the local church with a wagon, with the kids wearing Santa hats pulling each other on the way down, and the tree on the way home. They don’t flinch. Bake 4 different kinds of cookies vs 20? Well, my kids would notice that one.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with doing the “fancy” thing. In fact, the argument certainly holds for many things: renting a simple cottage vs going to a Carribean resort technically has the same effect for your kids: you bond, you share, you spend time together, you have fun, you relax. You don’t have to spend oodles of money or do something glamourous to have the same effect. I know that.
But, certain things I really want to do – so I do them (bigger vacations is one of those things).
However, I can’t do it all. Or, I can’t do it all now. As the saying goes “Life is long”. There is time to everything. Just not all at once. Not this week. Maybe not this year. Maybe never.
But maybe by missing out on a few really cool ideas, by keeping it simple, by focusing on what we do have and do do, I will be a lot more present in the moment.
Because that is what my kids will remember.
Doing the traditions that we do have, spending the time together whether fancy or elaborate. They will remember me enjoying these things with them, rather than being all stressed out in the holiday season.
Keep it simple is a good gift for myself and my family this Christmas.