Can it REALLY be only 36 days until Christmas?

I love the Christmas holiday season.  I always have, and I always will.  I have a huge Italian/Croation family, and it seems like there is a family event every single weekend, from Thanksgiving to New Years Day.  And I love it.  I love the food, I love the kiddies, I love the family “banter”, I love the traditions.  But holy mother of all that’s good,  it’s a lot of freaking work!

Am I right?

Yes, there are times I have to REMIND myself how much I love this season.  I have to remind myself how amazingly muchy it feels to be spending so much time with my family, and how much I love the traditions.

Right now, I just feel stress by the number of days until Christmas.  I wonder if all of these people reminding us of this are deliberately TRYING to stress us out?

Because really, I put this work on myself.  And I’ve cut down the work, A LOT.  I no longer string cranberries and popcorn to display on my Christmas tree.  Yes, I used to do that.  And no, no one misses it, least of all me.  I also no longer let holiday decorations take over my entire house, Griswold style.

So I’m going to challenge you.  What is one holiday tradition that stresses you out?  Can you skip this year and NO ONE will miss it?  And if someone misses it, you can delegate it to THEM to complete?

I live in New Jersey, and we’ve had a hell of a fall here.  Hurricane, Nor’Easter, Earthquake, all in a matter of days.  I was one of the lucky ones.  Sure, I had no electric/water/heat for over a week, but I had a warm place to stay, and the electric came back, no harm done.  Oh, and there’s a tree on my deck.  I’ll get to the tree eventually!  What was interesting to me though, is all the STUFF.  At one point, watching all of the people on TV who lost their homes and all their possessions, I started to think about what I needed to get out of my house in case something happened to it and I could never go back.  I ONLY CAME UP WITH TWO THINGS.  Some jewelry, and family recipes.  That’s it!  Every other single thing I have can be replaced. (remember, I’m a geek, so most of my pictures are saved digitally)

So now, there are 36 days until Christmas, and I have a shopping list a mile long.  For what?  More STUFF that no one really needs?  Right now, everywhere you look in the media, you see pictures of street after street of garbage, peoples’ possessions that are now heading to a dump.  My heart goes out to all of the people who lost everything, it really does, but when I look at all the STUFF I wonder how we became this possession filled society.

So this year, I’m going to try to be creative with gift giving.  I can’t go “stuff-free” cold turkey, but I’m going to start moving towards that.  I can’t talk too much about what I’m going to do, in case YOU’RE on my gift list!

So challenge number two.  Think about what you can do this holiday season to reduce the “stuff”, and then DO it.  Baby steps, just one or two things.

One blog post, two challenges!  Comment below and let me know what you can eliminate from your holiday to-do list, and also give me some of your “reduce the stuff” ideas.  Let’s see if we can get creative together!

To all my friends in the USA, I wish you a safe, happy, and healthy Thanksgiving.








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