Sunday, January 2, 2011

Christmas Simplified

I can truly say that we had the best Christmas that I remember in years.  SO many lessons were learned this Christmas from various events that happened. Each lesson learned helped to make this Christmas fabulous! I really am just journaling this for myself so that I can remember how making Christmas simpler this year helped to make it one of the best on record. This post is rather long so consider this fair warning.

To begin with; going into the season I made the commitment to myself that I would not over commit myself or try to over extend myself.  I began by simplifying my decorations.  I have yet to take them down, but I bet I will thank myself when it comes time to take them down as well. Since I originally started this post I have taken them down and as we were hauling things up to the attic I was very glad at how quickly I was able to get everything put away,. I cut down on how many sweets and goodies I cooked.  And last I let go of many expectations  for Christmas.  In years past I have expected my children to act perfectly as we madly rush from place to place and spend time with  friends and family.  I expect them to act overly thankful and happy with each gift, which is different from grateful I have now realized.  In years past I have expected to be able to jam pack our days leading up to Christmas with happy Christmas activities that will get us in  the Christmas mood, when all they really do (in such large quantities anyways) is cause burnout.

This year I listed all the activities I had done in the past and then choose my favorite 5 and stuck with those.  I turned down many invitations for holiday parties and such and just stuck to a few get togethers and mostly family time.

As Christmas grew closer I was letting myself fall back into old habits of hustle bustle and began to find myself very frazzled over all the things that needed to be done before Christmas.  A few days before Christmas Koen became very ill and we had a couple of very scary days wondering what the outcome would be.  This really gave me a reality check and I quickly realized what was important.

When Christmas did arrive I was so thankful for a healthy (mostly) family and what a miracle that was considering what had happened just earlier that week.  As an adult, I do not believe I have had a happier Christmas.  I was just truly overjoyed to be with my family and nothing else seemed to matter.

I did not get all of my Christmas cards out due to Koen's sickness, but I did get some out to mostly those that live away and that don't get to see the boys often as I included their picture in the Christmas card.

Like I said before I wanted to journal this in order to remember my feelings of this Christmas and keep things in perspective for years to come!

I didn't take hardly any pictures on Christmas, which I kind of regret, but I do have very good memories of my own, so I am OK with that.  Here are a few I did get.

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