Christmas is a tough time of year for those who try to live simply. In so many ways the modern Christmas tradition is based around excessive consumerism. I was attracted to the ideals of simpler living because of the time, energy, money and space it opens up in so many aspects of our lives. While I am by no means any kind of authority on the subject, it seems to me that Christmas usually involves spending a lot of time rushing around, shopping, cooking, cleaning and decorating. Not that any of those things are inherently bad but obsessing about the tree, the lights and the perfect gift tends to take up a lot of time and money, never mind facing exhaustion from bracing crowds, lineups and traffic. No tree for me and my Christmas shopping was a one day affair. Slowly I’m finding some balance.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not a Christmas hater. I highly value a holiday that encourages family time, generosity and celebrating the birth of a saviour. I don’t however really value a holiday that encourages giving/receiving “stuff” we don’t need, high credit card bills and hours spent decorating using decor items stored all year round for use once a year. I just like the Christmas that says “peace on earth” (outward focus) that encourages us to help others in need instead of the Christmas that says “I’d like a new gaming system or Louis Vuitton bag” (inward focus.)
All I want for Christmas is a little less hustle and bustle and a little more simplicity. Watch the snow fall (if you live in the north like I do), eat and drink with your family and friends, share your time and a little generosity with them and celebrate that baby in a manger. Easy on the excess and a have a Merry Christmas!
“Oh for the good old days when people would stop Christmas shopping when they ran out of money” – author unknown
“Probably the reason we all go haywire at Christmas time with the endless unrestrained and often silly buying of gifts is that we often don’t quite know how to put our love into words” – Harlan Miller, writer