Taking The CRAZY Out Of The Holidays

I’m hesitant to push the “publish” button for fear that you’ll all think that I’ma scrooge, but hang with me til the end, ‘k?


So…

I find myself in hibernation mode right now…and not just because it was a balmy -3’F here in northern Indiana this week.

And no, I’m not in denial that Christmas is coming soon. It’s just that everything that I see on a daily basis that would remind me that Christmas is coming soon is not about CHRISTMAS…it’s about pinterest, Toys R Us and Apple.

Yes, I appreciate a burlap wrapped Christmas tree as much as the next person, but If I see another popsicle stick Rudolf, I might jump into the bowl of egg nog.

Ok, not really.

But I’ll be honest and say it did cross my mind…

Please, don’t hate me and think I’m a scrooge…but as my kids are getting older (and by default I am getting older)…Christmas has become almost overwhelming…

And now it’s time for a confession – this past month, I opted NOT to incorporate any holiday/Christmas related books into our homeschool curriculum.

[insert gasps of horror]

I know.  My children are deprived and neglected and I’m denying them a rich cultural and spiritual heritage.

Instead, our read aloud book for the last few weeks has been the children’s version of the story of Nate Saint.


Right after WW II, Nate and his wife moved to Ecuador and devoted themselves to serving the tribal people and other missionaries in the Amazon  rain forest.  In January of 1956, he and his four friends were martyred on a small beach in the middle of the Amazon, by the very people they had come to help.

It had absolutely nothing to do with Christmas, but we finished the book this week, amid tears and some pretty heavy questions from my kids.

There were no angels or Wise Men on camels.

But it was a story of self-sacrifice.

More than anything, I want my children to hear that message during this time…a message that is completely foreign to our first-world culture, especially in light of all that we’re seeing on the commercials and in store windows during this season.

No, it wasn’t about Christmas, but it was the story of men that went to a strange land.

To love a violent and rejected people.

The very people that ended up killing them.

Sounds kind of like the Christmas Story.

I finally realized this year, that for our family to take some of the CRAZY out of the holidays, it  actually meant downplaying “Christmas” in it’s most base sense. Now, before you report me to the scrooge police, trust me; my brood will still hear the traditional Christmas passages and stories and there will be plenty of presents and twinkly lights.

However,  instead of falling into the traditional hustle and bustle, I decided to go out on a limb and not over accentuate Christmas in our own home.   It makes for a calmer mommy, fewer melt downs (mine, not theirs), and a decreased amount of, “Mommy, I NEED this for Christmas!!!”

Instead, I’m concentrating on what I want my children to remember about Christmas:  just the simple story of a Man who laid down His life for others, and who inspired us to do the same, even for the un-lovable…

What about you?  I can’t be the only one on Holiday-overload!!!  What do you do to keep things calm and sane during the holiday season??

photo credit

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