Simplifying in a Season of Excess
By Niki Turner
|You can still find chocolate-filled advent calendars!|
This year, with no little ones in my living space to amuse and entertain with Christmas decor, I decided to simplify. No tree, no decorations, no lights... just my advent wreath on the table where I spend time every morning in prayer and Bible study. I'll shop for gifts for immediate family over the next week, take granddaughter to The Nutcracker in Aspen next weekend, and maybe mix up a batch or two of penuche, but that's it. That's all I feel "led" to do this year.
Half of me feels guilty, and the other half feels unreasonably relieved: Guilty that I'm not frenetically hanging Christmas lights and crafting three-story Victorian gingerbread houses, yet relieved that I'm not facing days of clean-up after Dec. 25, and can focus on preparing my heart and mind for the coming year, considering new ways to give Christ reign in my day to day life, seeking His plans and purposes for me in the year to come. It's making for a different, and interesting, Christmas season for me. I was the mom who put up a fully-decorated tree in every room of the house, had wreaths on every door, Christmas cards sent to every acquaintance in my address book, and so on.
(NONE of those things are bad, BTW! If you want to do them, do them with all your heart!)
Have you ever had a Christmas season where you set aside all the traditional trappings?
Or where you changed around your usual methods of celebrating the season?
Did you stick with those changes, or return to your former routines?