Old St. Nick has one, and so do I. His list deals with who is “Naughty” or “Nice”. Mine is my own form of self-torture that I’ve honed over the years. All of the “should-do’s” and “have-to-definitely-do’s” are on it. Christmas decorating, baking, gift buying, and the dreaded Christmas card conundrum.
I love the whole experience of decorating for Christmas, and I’ve cut back on how much I’ve decorated over the years. At one time, I had ten Christmas trees with different themes in various sizes throughout the interior and exterior of our home. Now I am down to one medium-sized artificial tree and four miniature trees. I used to have a minimum of one tree in each of the main rooms of the house, each bedroom and in the upstairs hall. Now the trees are in the living room and on the front porch.
My Santa collecting days are over, and I’m content to limit its total number to thirty Santas. It’s not the largest Santa collection — I knew a woman who had over 1,000 Santas, but it is enough for my home. I’m not one for a lot of outdoor lighting either (in the whole Clark Griswold of Christmas Vacation movie fame kind of illumination), but prefer a single candle in each window.
When my sons were little, we’d bake cut-out sugar cookies and gingerbread people decorating them with lots of colorful icing and sprinkles. The mess in the kitchen was worth the fun. Afterwards, I’d play some Christmas CD’s, we’d drink hot chocolate with plenty of mini marshmallows floating on top and decorate the largest tree together.
This year I’m almost finished with my Christmas gift list, having a few stocking stuffer items to purchase and a couple hard-to-buy-for people yet on my list.
So, what’s on the agenda now? The dreaded Christmas card list. Should I write a chatty newsletter to the people I know, make my own cards with my scrapbooking expertise or send off to a company for a photo greeting card? Frankly, I did the fail-safe option and bought a couple boxes of old-fashioned Christmas cards. Despite my card choice, the newsletter dilemma is still looming over me.
It is so easy to get caught up in all of the tasks and lists instead of enjoying the finer moments this time of year offers to us–Christmas caroling, holiday parties, Secret Santas, watching the little ones as they sit on Santa’s lap or unwrap their gifts. The wonderful Christmas stories and movies I enjoy year after year. Eggnog! (It gets its own sentence, LOL!) Midnight masses crowded with parishioners, the choir’s voices reverberating through the church, and participating in the sacred traditions with millions of people around the world.
I hope everyone has a wonderful Holiday season. Just try to remember the simple pleasures and try not to worry about the lists.