Yes, it’s February and I’m talking about Christmas. Why? Because I feel like I just now recovered from it financially. This is part of what makes it wrong. The biggest part. The stuff. Now I have read and seen How the Grinch Stole Christmas enough times (both the real version and the crappy Jim Carrey version) to get the message. I know the Who’s were singing even though they were mass burglarized and robbed.
Why is it, then, do I have a hard time singing even without felonious activity to overcome? (Aside from my terrible singing voice.) It is the freaking stuff. It is shopping for it and paying for it and worrying about whether it is the right thing.
Now this year I tried a new tactic and went for a handmade Christmas (by other people, not me). If I had managed to pull it off completely, I think I wouldn’t feel so icky about the holiday. The handmade stuff I got from craft shows and Etsy and the Guru felt great to give; as did the pictures Silverpixels took for me. But I didn’t stop there. And that’s where I went wrong.
The thing is, Christmas is just a microcosm of the rest of the year. The problem is not just giving the stuff, it is the stuff in general.
Forever ago, I read Simplify your Life by Elaine St. James and I took step one: “Reduce the Clutter in your Life” very seriously. But I didn’t really get it. I have an entire house full of clutter and I keep bringing home more. Food and clothing for ever growing children is one thing but the hundreds of toys? Books? Gadgets? Tote bags? I’m a sucker. I’m infected with consumerism and I’d really like to be inoculated against it.
Well, it’s fresh start month so no need to continue dwelling. I have ten months until next Christmas and I’m armed with a three step plan: 1. Budget. 2. Be able to shake the hand of the person who made the gifts I’m giving. 3. Manage the expectations of my recipients. There, I’m ready! Bring on some birthdays so I can practice!
In the meantime, what about the rest of this stuff that is getting in the way of my singing? Well, a lot of it is going to have to go. Also, I’m initiating a moratorium on stuff acquisition. Game on, Elaine. I think I finally get it.
I like to throw things.