Christmas ornaments and simplifying the holidays
Each year, we pick a special ornament that represents something about the past year for Anna and Taylor. This can be an ornament from the collection we already have, a small toy that belongs to them that we could hang on the tree, a handmade ornament or a new purchase to add to the collection.
Taylor's special ornament collection
This is one of my all time favorite ornaments in the kids' collections. It was an ornament I had bought just because it was cute, and Taylor asked if it could be his ornament for 2013 last year.
This little elf with shorts on and the little legs sticking out from the bottom was perfect to remember this season in which Taylor wears shorts 99% of the time.
2014 ornament that we just added to our collection.
2008 ornament to commemorate that Anna dressed up as Wonder Woman
for Halloween and her birthday that year
(because what's not to love about pink sparkles!)
Hermione Lego in honor of our love for Harry Potter in 2011 and beyond
2013 for Poppy joining our family last year
2014 ornament for Anna being first chair in junior band
We hung the ornaments on the bannister going up the stairs since we did not get a tree this year. We were only going to be here at our house for 2 1/2 weeks before we head out of town so we decided to simplify, and I am so glad we did.
In lieu of a Christmas tree, we pulled this out of the basement from the last few Christmases which is just a tomato cage with Christmas lights woven throughout, and it is adding the same twinkling glow that we've enjoyed from our trees in the past. One whole box was left unpacked with fun ornaments, but we can save that for another year. And to be honest, I have not missed it. In a month when I have had a lot of deadlines and projects to complete for work, it was simply one less thing to add to our lists and to the three ring circus that December can feel like, and this freedom is indeed a gift I'll gladly take for Christmas.
Andi Saccoccio, one of the pastors at our church shared this last Sunday:
"What the church calendar tells us is the season for hope and expectation has become a season of frenzy and disappointment. Christmas hope has become as artificial as the lights we string up in our desperate attempt to regain some of the light that the shortened winter days have taken from us. And sadly our lives can feel most empty during the very season when we celebrate God’s desire to fill them."
This post below from one of my favorite writers Brene Brown is so poignant for the holidays as we consider what traditions we put into place and what things we need to lay aside for the sake of our own sanity and our family's peace of mind. We don't have to do things at all costs. It's okay to let some things go and enjoy the freedom that comes from those choices.
Joy to the world....
Merry Merry Christmas!