It feels like this--whatever this is for you--because we are acting contrary to what our hearts are telling us. Our hearts are telling us that it's all about the people and being together, but our actions prove otherwise.
In reality, it's about: the food, the decorations, the gifts, the surprise factor, and the clothing/ appearances that we make.
Everything I've just listed are the externals of what we claim to celebrate. For some unknown reason, the food you eat on regular days is not good enough for the holidays. The way you decorate your home is also not good enough for the holidays either. And gifts. Well, if you can afford them, they are not good enough either. They are only good enough if you have to go into debt for them. And don't forget "the drama" of the whole thing. Unveiling things one by one in order to work the children into a greed climax (that is never satiated) so they can be whining and crying when they "didn't get" what they thought they wanted??
People! Why do we put ourselves through this? Why?
About 13 years ago, I decided that I was not going to feel obligated to endorse any traditions that I did not feel there was some sort of direct purpose in. At first I felt like such a rebel. You mean you are NOT sending out Christmas cards?!! And the deliciously downward spiral started. I gave myself the freedom to only endorse what I thought was necessary.
My first thought was: Can it really be THIS easy? I thought December was supposed to be stressful?! Amazingly, the kids have adapted quite well, since we've never endorsed greed in their regular day lives. Why should we let it run rampant at one time of year?
And the worst part is--I don't even feel guilty about it. I feel a complete peace.
As for our family, I hope to be decked out in snowshoes enjoying a fresh walk outside in my brother's big yard with my family around the afternoon of the 25th. We've all agreed that we each have too much stuff, but what we can not get enough of is: love and quality time spent together. And sure we'll get each other a little something--probably a consumable of some sort. And we'll eat, and no doubt it will be good, but it always is. And we'll play games and laugh and sing some songs or sit around and "chew the fat" because we can. And aunt Kim will not do her hair, because she never does. And my Mom will do hers, because she always does. And I will look like a hedgehog, since that's what I do best. And we will all laugh, and nothing will be particularly funny, and yet everything will be. And this is how I see Jesus in my holiday. HIS yoke is EASY and HIS burden is LIGHT.