The days leading up to my vacation were riddled with Christmas hopes. The hope of how this Christmas it would be different from all the others. We are minimalists now so surely this would be our first ecstatic “real” Christmas. I arrived at the big house from our tiny travel trailer ready to sing Christmas hymns, wrap presents, burn candles and eat good food. To relish in the love of family and not spend too much money doing so.
Then it happened, Friday I went shopping. I was almost done with my list. I had done well and was minimal in the gifts I purchased for others and they were useful gifts. Halfway through the morning, guilt set in. I hadn’t done enough to show those who I loved how much I “materially” loved them. So I bought over 200.00 in additional gifts. Many gifts being sent electronically due to the fact I had just finished working long hours and hadn’t had time to shop. Also, we spent 108.00 at UPS trying to ship the things we had managed to purchase, last minute.
This all left me quite frustrated. However, I originally had a budget. For the most part, I tried to stay on point. I efforted to buy good quality gifts and some experiences. I’m not excusing my Friday free for all of the shopping frenzy. I only mean to point out that I haven’t received my diploma from the school of minimalism just yet. It’s still early and I have a lot more to learn.
Saturday came and the obsessive cleaning and organizing, and shopping for food began. We had no time to spare, everything had to be perfect. Then it happened. My daughter Katie makes T-shirt blankets. She had several Christmas orders and was frantically sewing and really needed help with the kids. We couldn’t help because we had to have the palace in order. Halfway through the day she called us to inform us the ambulance was on the way, she had sewn the needle into her thumb. My husband took over babysitting duties and I followed the ambulance to the hospital.
The E.R. was quiet for a change in under two hours, the tragedy was handled, and we picked up pizza for the kids (a few more presents) and headed home. She was able to go back to sewing and finished her orders. We returned to the cleaning. We figured we would just touch up some. At 1230 we went to bed. Up early the next morning to the pre-cooked holiday meal, the kids from the airport (meeting our grandson for the first time) and back to wrap the 50+ gifts. We did nothing but work for days. We were exhausted and worn out. We were overly tired at Christmas and ended up arguing midday.
We have vowed next year since the house will be sold (PLEASE let that happen) that we will visit all the kids on Christmas day at their house, giving as close to experiences as we can, and then take a trip and relax. Even if that trip is to our mini-mansion. How can you enjoy a holiday if all you do is work? How can you survive if all you do is spend money on gifts that will be memories in a few weeks or hours (for the kids)? On the upside, one of our daughters gave us amazon cards for Christmas. She wanted us to buy something that coincided with our new lifestyle. This morning I noticed “Courtney Carver’s” new book had come out. ChaChing…”Soulful Simplicity” (digitally) for Christmas. Prayfully, I will learn how not to be complicated.