Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Of Christmas Tweaked

And so it begins. Christmastime.


Ha! シ

Probably I'm one of the few Christian bah humbugs you know, but you know, right?, that what I object to is the Christmas frenzy. The trappings. The wild-eyed-must-have-and-see-and-do-it-all-ness of it all.

And those silly deflated, face-down Santas splattered all over everybody's lawnsAnd Rudolph (who's on tv tonight). The whole terrible tragedy of the little guy. 

I prefer a type of year-around Christmas. It's quite different and the fun lasts much longer.

But anyway, remember when Ma Ingalls told Laura: "There's no great loss without some gain"? Well, guess what's been swirling inside my head this week?

Why? Because for the last five Christmases (or more) we've downscaled Christmas majorly around our house. Fewer decorations. No parties. Less gifts each year. No tree except for the gold grapevine one I pulled from the basement (perpetually decorated so I could just plop! it on the table).

But in our Big Move, we even gave that away.

And each year, I've enjoyed Christmas more. The fewer the trappings, the greater the room for Christmas joy, I say.

And then last year I kept repeating, "Next year let's scale back even more, ok?" Tom and Naomi nodded agreement, though not as excitedly as I did. So, well, guess what? The 'no great loss without some gain' thing is our wonderful excuse this year. Because Tom was downsized into Unemployment Land, we have our legit reason to cut way, way back and do Christmas ultra-sanely.

(Insert the Hallelujah Chorus here.)

Already I had my lovely half-off Victoria Christmas cards (from last January) and the stamps I'd stocked up on. Scribbling messages on Christmas cards is lovely and Grace-filled so that tradition will remain.

And our old-fashioned kitchen radio dial is set on the Constant Christmas station, for there's nothing like carols in the kitchen while my fingers shape pie dough and I'm gazing out on a snowy field laced with trees. 

At Thanksgiving, Tom, Naomi and I discussed a money limit for each other, a lower one than ever, citing also that creativity is good and if we can make things or find gifts for free, well, so much the better. So look-out online credit card--you will be on a diet this December.

There will be gifts for our parents. Offerings for the needy, too. Hopefully a morning visit around the table with two of my friends. Maybe a few Christmas lights wrapped around the furniture. I'll retrieve our one (and only) box of Christmas decor from the attic and watch a few Christmas dvd's (don't you just love the Charlie Brown one?). And we'll eat a pleasant Christmas dinner, of course.

And well, that will be about it. But it will be lovely and peaceful and hopefully, Jesus-centered.

And definitely, mall-mob-free. :)


What are your favorite Christmas movies? The ones I've watched a bazillion times are:

 Charlie Brown's Christmas, 
A Christmas Carol (with Geoge C. Scott. Hard to believe I used to have a major crush on him at age 14 after I saw him in Jane Eyre), 
the first two Home Alone movies (I know, I know, but I love them), 
It's a Wonderful Life, 
Miracle on 34th Street, 
Christmas in Connecticut and 
While You Were Sleeping which I consider a Christmas movie when others might not.



Dolores said...

Debra, we usually watch A Christmas Wish (Jimmy Durante), The Bishop's Wife, Prancer, It happened on 5th avenue, The Polar express, We're no angels and A Christmas Story. We also watch others but thesse are the ones I like the most. Oh, I almost forgot A Muppet Christmas Carol! Love this one.

Debra said...

Oh thanks, Dolores! You reminded me that I also have watched Prancer a bazillion times, too :) I'll add that to my list. Thanks again, Debra

Ann said...

Debra - love the post. we are downsizing too but we are going to TN to see our son and his wife and that grandson! so that's my Christmas. I told everyone don't buy me anything! Christmas movies- The bishop's Wife, Holiday Inn, Scrooge with Albert Finney, Scooge with Alister Simm, Ernest Saves Christmas, It's a Wonderful Life, Home Alone, Scrooged, The Lemon Drop Kid, Never Say Goodbye. just to name several. LOL

Donetta said...

It is so good to see that you too will delight in an attitude of gratitude. With the small ones it is a bit more of a challenge. The budget set they have few gifts for the wish list was particularly expensive. One gift each it was what they desired. So budget spent. It will be an interesting year of maturity for them both I think. I love my boys attitude however he has it. "Spending time with family and it would be cool to get a gift"

I got a call last night to make a fast $100 for two hours consultation tonight! So now I can get a gift for hubby (a new lunch box) and give a bit to each kid to get each other a small gift.

The sewing machine is warming up :)

Tracy said...

Jim Henson's "Emmett Otter's Jugband Christmas". I think you would really like that one, Debra. :)

Unknown said...

Hi Debra, if you saw my recent post today actually about Pennsylvania, I vented about my dislike of the "Christmas" season as it is. It has gotten so far away from what it is supposed to be that I just look forward to the whole thing passing. I wish it were different but it isn't at least for me.

Dapoppins said...

Aunt Amelia posted a link to another blog that had movie stills from the house on Home Alone...the whole thing, top to bottom being decorated in red and green, paint, wall paper, so forth, even if the house wasn't really decorated for Christmas...It was a fun post and made me really want to see that movie again.

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

Hehehe, it is good to know someone else has trouble getting in the Christmas spirit this year.

I have brought in all my boxes off the shelves that contain Christmas "stuff". It looks like Santa's workshop (at least the kind they show in the Hallmark movies) blew up.

Anonymous said...

I love Christmas, as well as Christmas lights and tasteful decorations. We are going to have the whole family here, so I plan to decorate for the children. Last year we cut back, but not this year!
My favorite movies are, "It's a Wonderful Life, and the original, "Miracle on 34th street". I never tire of those movies. I watched, "Ebbie" this year and really enjoyed it.

Judy said...

We were never big on presents around here, and this year we will have ONE draw-names gift exchange where our names go in with those of our adult children. Then, we will pick up small meaningful gifts for the grandkids.

But, oh! How I LOVE the decorating!

This year I've only brought up one of my many many boxes but have added lights everywhere. Lots of little trees with lights.

The 'big' tree is in the basement, still decorated from last year.

My favorite Christmas movie at the moment is Holiday Inn. Bing and Fred. Ahhh.

Blu-I'd-Blonde said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Blu-I'd-Blonde said...

I want to share that my favorite part of Christmas is the Reason for the Season, the celebration of the birth of Jesus my Savior; the music, programs at church and driving around on Christmas Eve to see all the lit-up homes--well, some are ridiculous (I agree with Debra about the plastic lawn spectacles) but many are beautiful.

A frugal Christmas is what I've been striving for. Most of the gifts will be for the 3 little grandkids. Hubby and I have already bought our Christmas gifts for each other--things we needed now, not later.

Decorations: traditional tree with decor accumulated since our son's and daughter's childhoods. Of course, we continue the tradition of stockings with all kinds of little surprises.

Dinner might be full-course turkey or ham, but it could be home-made soup, rolls, relish, and pie; or waffles or Russian pancakes (crepes) with all the toppings and side dishes--cherry mousse & white sauce...all the good things with nothing extravagant.

Movies: many of the above plus The Christmas Story and Little House stories--Christmas at Plum Creek and The Christmas They Never Forgot. For some reason I also like to watch The Sound of Music, and Anne of Green Gables around Christmas holiday.