Why we do this....the simple things

Discussion in 'Christmas Magic' started by jollykelly, May 15, 2017.

  1. jollykelly

    jollykelly Active Member

    Sometimes I need to remind myself why I plan for the Christmas season all year long? The high level answer is so that I can enjoy the Christmas season and try to make it memorable for others. When I think about what I enjoy most, it is the simple things about Christmas. I plan all year long so that the tasks are manageable, hopefully less stressful, and debt free..... therefor allowing me the time and finances to actually enjoy Christmas. I have made a list about the simple things that I enjoy about Christmas. I hope it inspires you to share why you plan early, and what you enjoy about the Christmas season most!

    Planning/preparing early for Christmas allows me the freedom to enjoy (in no particular order):
    • The feel good Christmas movies on the Hallmark Channel
    • Christmas music on the radio
    • Christmas decorations, both inside and out
    • The cookies!!
    • Not worrying about bad weather/traffic because I have no where to go
    • The cold weather outside and the warm home inside
    • People watching at the mall, should I choose to go out
    • The extra money to do a carriage ride through downtown, a movie, or show with the family
    • Filing boxes for Operation Christmas Child and volunteering time at the ministry service
    • the feeling of pride (I know I shouldn't, but I do) when everyone who thought I was crazy in August are panicking one week before Christmas
    Yes indeed, after reviewing my list, I will continue to prepare for Christmas year round, looking forward to reaping the benefits!
    Christmaslvr and Minta like this.
  2. luludou

    luludou Well-Known Member

    Great thread... funny I just wrote something for CIJ that looks a bit like this :) Great minds think alike!
    Minta and jollykelly like this.
  3. jollykelly

    jollykelly Active Member

    So sorry Lucie...I didn't even see it, great minds certainly think alike! I will have to check it out.
    Minta likes this.
  4. tanya

    tanya Well-Known Member

    Great post Kelly!

    A few different reasons I plan I guess. Christmas was magical when I was small. My Mum did it all, she loved to do it. She planned but not as much as I do. Although in honesty she probably planned more that I thought. My Dad loved Christmas but did nothing other than pay for it. He was happy to let Mum do the lot and she enjoyed it- worked for them really well. He used to just sit back and take it all in. I did not realise how much he loved it all until I got older. Christmas was my Mum's time of year to shine. She was great all year round but Christmas brought everything together.

    The first year that Mum was not here for Christmas my Dad refused to celebrate it at all. In hindsight, I can see now that he was grieving big time for my Mum. And by pretending that Christmas was just a normal day to him was his way of coping. The year after, I decided that this was not the way to go forward. I had a serious discussion with him and we almost argued- I never argued with my Dad so it was not normal. I told him that by ignoring Christmas he was in fact ignoring Mum and her memory. After much huffing and puffing he must have seen my point and agreed to let a little Christmas back into his life.

    I took over Christmas and little by little built it back- it was different as there were no kids and I was married but Dad managed to celebrate. At first I'm not sure he enjoyed it but he did it anyway. Probably because I shamed him by telling him he was being disrespectful to Mum by not doing it as she loved it so much! A bit of blackmail never hurt anyone!!

    Dad always had a thing that Christmas was for kids! He loved to see a house full of gifts and all the other trimmings of the season. I think he did it a bit hard when he was small as he was born in 1931 in the middle of the Great Depression and things were tough for everyone. By the time Luke was born, Dad was into the swing of having Christmas again. He was able to put his grieving for Mum away a bit because he wanted Christmas to be special for Luke. In his own way he felt that Luke missed out by not meeting my Mum and he was eternally sorry that Mum missed enjoying Luke. And he was going to do everything in his power to make sure his grandson had the same amazing Christmas that my Mum would have done for him.

    We muddled along for a few years until my Dad started to show signs of Dementia. I was so busy being worried about him and dealing with his increasingly bizarre behaviours that I let the planning slip. 5 days before Christmas, I had a Dad in the mental section of the hospital (locked unit because he had been violent), a confused, mixed up 4 year old who had seen it all, few gifts, no food, no decorations and even less Christmas spirit. With no choice other than to make it happen and fast! I got it together in a hurry. After all Luke had been through there was no way he was not going to have Santa and Christmas. I did it but it was stressful, exhausting and not something I would ever want to do again.

    So began my planning of Christmas...

    I also plan now because it Summer here and I would prefer to be out and about or at the beach!
    Our school year is finished and apart from the end of year activities we also have end of school activities.
    Im not hiding and sneaking gifts etc.. with Luke around as its holidays.
    Im still into creating magic and magic takes time!
    Last edited: May 15, 2017
  5. sweetpumkinpye

    sweetpumkinpye Well-Known Member

    I too had wonderful memories of Christmas as a child. My mum was a SAHM so I think that my parents did an amazing job a providing 4 kids with great Christmas's. We always had enough presents to open and a wonderful meal. One of my earliest memories is lying in bed, being soooo hot and waiting for Santa.

    When I met DH, he had not had many happy Christmas memories. Our first Christmas together was one of his happiest days.
    We spent our first Christmas's as a married couple going to my parents and then my inlaws, this was fine until we had DS and decided we wanted to spend time with our own family. We then started the tradition of going to my parents on Christmas Eve and DH parents on boxing day.
    Suddenly I had to provide a Christmas meal for my family rather than eating at other peoples homes.
    That is when I really started planning for Christmas. DH and I did not have a lot of money as I was home looking after DS and later DD, so I had to plan and budget and learn how to give my family the type of Christmas's that I had, I started to shop and plan all year round to be able to afford it.

    Over the last few years things have changed again. My inlaws have divorced and both moved away from here and my dad died in 1999.
    I now share Christmas planning with my mum. We plan what we are going to eat for Christmas dinner, we shop for groceries together and I buy some items and she buys some. We get together and have baking days, we set aside days where we wrap stocking fillers and gifts.
    This helps keep her involved with Christmas planning and the excitement of it all, and it helps me do all the things that I am too busy to do.
    I am still glad that we spread the shopping out through the whole year, it is expensive and the only way I can give the family the Christmas we have is to do it this way.

    Being prepared means....
    I am not stressed about things not getting done because they ARE done.
    I get to sit and relax, no last minute rush,
    I get to watch my family unwrap gifts that have been thoughtfully purchased,
    I still have money in the Christmas account to enjoy the post Christmas sales.
  6. luludou

    luludou Well-Known Member

    JK you won't find it... it is written and scheduled to appear durint Christmas in July on my blog :)
    Minta likes this.
  7. luludou

    luludou Well-Known Member

    JK, Tanya and Katrina I love all your stories. This is what the magicial spirit is about :)
    Minta likes this.
  8. Minta

    Minta Administrator Staff Member

    I plan all year for Christmas ... Shopping deals for gifts, tucking money away each month to pay for Christmas, budgeting for and shopping each month for non perishables (especially in the first half of the year) and shopping for the baking ingredients as soon as the baking sales start at the grocery stores.

    By summer we are discussing as a family what Christmas related activities we want to do, research the costs if any and start penciling in some of those activities on the Dec calendar.

    I do all this so we can be prepared financial wise and avoid going into debt. To have the time to do things with family like bake cookies, watch many Christmas movies, and do activities with my family AND Actually enjoy myself.

    We have a goal to be done Christmas shopping by the first weekend in Dec. This goal serves multiple purposes ... 1. I can start wrapping sooner then later 2. I don't have to deal with miserable shoppers in the stores 3. If the weather is bad we can just stay home and not have anything to stress about.

    I see too many friends and family get stressed over Christmas from money being the biggest factor to poor time management. They get so overwhelmed that they just go through the motions without enjoying themselves and by the time Christmas finally arrives they are ready for it to be over and this no way to be at Christmas.
  9. sweetpumkinpye

    sweetpumkinpye Well-Known Member

    I agree, I see so many miserable people at Christmas and i just SMH
    Last edited: May 18, 2017
    Minta likes this.
  10. tanya

    tanya Well-Known Member

    Yep I get tired of people complaining about Christmas. So many don't enjoy it. Yet they laugh when I am happily prepping in Jan, Feb for next year's Christmas.

    I always aim to be finished by the last weekend in November so I guess I work on a 10 month time line- I think a lot in January and pick up what I can at the sales but its hard to do a lot as Luke is on summer holidays.

    I then only have to do the food shopping... or the bits that can't be done early and stored.
    Minta likes this.
  11. missjane

    missjane Well-Known Member

    I'm not good at buying all through the year like many of you are. I think mainly because I'm rural and when I go to Monroe, it's always on a time line looking or going specifically for something, but I do budget and save all year for Christmas. DH is on board with it, so that makes it much better. My mom and dad always saved for Christmas, so I learned that from them. I think that's the ONLY thing I knew about their finances! :D

    I don't spend much time browsing on the Internet for things all through the year, either, which I should start doing. I just don't spend a lot of time on the computer at all. Mainly to check on here, pay bills, check emails (once in a blue moon) or if I'm looking something up that I need to know about.

    I do finish up in advance of Christmas because we were always waiting on Christmas Eve for my mom to come home from shopping - AND THEN WRAPPING THE PRESENTS - before we had our big family Christmas with my uncle, grandparents, and my cousins. It was always so awkward! We were a small family because she had the one brother and my dad was raised in an orphanage. My uncle was divorced, but always had my cousins (2 girls) at Christmas, so we all had Christmas at my mom's parent's house. We spent the night and Santa came to my grandparent's house rather than our own.

    I loved reading everyone's memories.
    Minta likes this.
  12. MinnieCo

    MinnieCo Well-Known Member

    The stress of unplanned Christmas is hard. Many above mentioned that others complain so much..and I get it. A "perfect" Christmas takes alot of work and fitting it all in 5 weeks can be overwhelming. I enjoy taking Christmas in. Sitting back and taking in the moments. My first glass of eggnog, my first Hallmark movie, my 1st night of having the lights on the tree..If I'm to busy doing the BIG things I don't get to enjoy the small things. And as I get older and family dynamics change, I rely on those moments more and more when I'm alone during December. Some years are definitely better than others, but I always tell myself something is better than nothing so I try my hardest.
    Holiday_Mom and Minta like this.
  13. Holiday_Mom

    Holiday_Mom Well-Known Member

    I'm a little late to this. I started planning after my husband was in the hospital days before Christmas and my oldest was 18 months at the time. He got sick two weeks before Christmas and got progressively worse. I had bought some gifts but between hospital visits and taking care of my little one, nothing else really got done. I was starting to feel resentful towards the illness taking over my favorite holiday. Then I decided to take over the holiday. I invited my single brothers to come over and help me decorate an artificial tree I pulled up from the basement. We played Christmas music and ate store bought Christmas cookies. I got some wrapping done.

    We had hosted Christmas Eve gathering of my family for the first time the year before. It was super small and simple at the time. We had just appetizers. When my husband was released from the hospital a few days before Christmas, I decided that we'd still host. I needed to do it for me, no one else. I'm glad I did. I didn't feel like I completely missed Christmas.

    A few months later I found Organized Christmas and the Christmas Countdown plan. I was sold. I was going to be ready that year for the "unexpected" hospital visit. I use to have the wrapping done by Thanksgiving when the children were really little but as they got older, it became harder to do. My goal is to have the wrapping done by mid December. I do not want to wrap gifts after Dec. 17th. I want to spend that time slowing down and enjoying the week leading into Christmas.

    My favorite thing to do is get up before everyone to light the Christmas tree in the morning and plug in the mantle lights in our living room. It makes those dark, cold mornings seem cozier at breakfast. We do the same thing before dinner and I also light a candle in our fireplace then.
    Minta likes this.
  14. MinnieCo

    MinnieCo Well-Known Member

    Mary, we're on the same page, but mine is at night. After everyone has gone to bed, I turn off the lights in the house and the house is quiet and I just take in the glitter and glow of all the lights and pretties in my living room. Honestly, makes me all teary thinking about it now. Not a better feeling!
    Minta likes this.
  15. sweetpumkinpye

    sweetpumkinpye Well-Known Member

    I love the idea of sitting in the dark and looking at the tree lights. Because Christmas is Summer here we have to stay up pretty late to do that and then it is bed time.
    Looking at the tree lights while having a morning coffee sounds perfect.
    Minta likes this.
  16. MinnieCo

    MinnieCo Well-Known Member

    OHHHHH...I see. Makes sense...so you take in the quiet mornings. I get it!
    Minta likes this.

Share This Page