The word’s loaded with baggage. I hear “Christmas” and what goes on in my head is something like this:

“Christ-gottabuythepresentsandstartmakingcookieswhereismyrollingpinmylististoolongwhatabouttheadventwreathgottastart thecountdownfindsomecandlespartysaturdaypartysundaypartykidsschoolwheredidIputthesantahatbalancemycheckbookfindsomeextramoneytimeoffpaythebabysittergotochurchspendtimewithfamilyarewegoing ttocallawaythisyearlightsmusicstockingsfireplacedecorationscleancleancleanwrappingpapertapescissors-mas”.

Say Christmas to anyone and there’s likely to be a reaction elucidating the stresses, the expense, the tiresome relatives, the commercialism. The lists of parties, the lists of presents, the lists of supplies that, a day later, are just ribbons and torn paper.

I want to simplify my semantics of the word. The event that Christmas celebrates was a simple birth. Something commonplace, something that has happened millions of times since. Something that echoed in time and continues to influence people even now. With so much more significance than we’re even able to express.

So this year I am eschewing the extra. I’m going to find ways to return to the night with the great big star, to the night with the young mother making do with so little. To the simplicity of a baby in the straw, to the simplicity of a new life.


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5 Responses to Simplification

  1. I couldn’t agree more with this!

  2. Mary-LUE says:

    Yes, I am working on that, too. We managed to light a candle last night for the first week of Advent and do a reading together. We are reducing the number of presents: 3 each for the kids on Christmas morning and the extended family is drawing names–one present each, kids included (mine are 8 and 16 so they are old enough).

    I am also going to get my Advent devotionals to try to read every day. More Christ, less stuff. That is my motto for Christmas 2008.

  3. Wonderful, lovely idea.

  4. faemom says:

    That’s a great idea. Any ideas on how to simplify? Because other than streamlining the present process and refusing to go anywhere then my parents’ house, I’m stomped.

    Though on Mary-LUE’s present idea, I heard some one say they gave out four: something to wear, something to read, something they need, something they want

  5. badmommymoments says:

    We’re doing that this year too. I love the heart behind the holiday.

    But I’m also one of those nuts who checks the radio stations each day in November, you know, just in case they decide to start airing “All Christmas, All the Time” a few days early…

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