Christmas O.D.

I have been shying away from writing this post for the whole week now. It has been very hard for me to process how I have felt this Christmas, and if I even wanted to share these raw, uncut feelings… in other words, reader beware, very weird post to follow.  Consider yourself warned…

This Christmas was really different for me.

Don’t get me wrong – I LOVE Christmas.

I love the traditions.

I love the memories it instills from my own childhood.

I love seeing my kids faces light up at the magical wonderland that replaces our living room for a brief moment as they experience the magic of Santa and gifts and toys.

I love having lessons about the birth of Christ, and the potential which that lesson holds for all of us.

In fact, I usually fire up the Christmas music about august and let it play clear up until Christmas day has come to an end.


… This year started out similar

With music

and traditions

and secret service elf projects for the kids

and lessons about Christ

and ‘sightings’ of reindeer

and all of the magic that Christmas enfolds.

By the end of Christmas day, however,

I felt really…


Kind of like the feeling you get right after Thanksgiving dinner, knowing full well that you shouldn’t have eaten that extra bite of pumpkin pie, or potatoes, or stuffing, or … well you get the idea.

Only this feeling at the end of Christmas was with stuff.

Because in the end, that is what all of the gifts and toys and stocking stuffers amounted to be.


I can’t blame it on the kids, they actually didn’t ask for much

I can’t blame it on over spending, because a majority of what I found was a product of sales, coupons, closeouts, etc.

… well, maybe that was part of it now that I think about it – throughout the year, there were so many things that I picked up for our ‘gift box’ that were on such great closeout deals, that I ‘ear marked’ for Christmas, that by the time everything was laid out, it just seemed to be overkill.  And that was even with keeping back a whole 2 boxes for birthdays throughout the coming year.  With coupons, I failed to follow the simple rule given by a wise college professor:  just because something can be done, doesn’t mean that it should be done. (or in my case, just because a deal can be made, doesn’t mean that is should be made).

I ended the day feeling like I actually did a disservice for my children in teaching them about what Christmas is all about.

… Maybe it was that they didn’t quite show the level of excitement that I was anticipating (perhaps from being a little bit overloaded by ‘just one more’ toy being added to their pile??!)

… maybe it was that by the time we got to our big family gift, it was kind of a ‘monty python’ rejoicing moment (read:  a bit underwhelming)

… maybe it was that my shoes were too tight, or my heart was 2 sizes too small…

Whatever the reason, I just went to bed that night feeling,


with stuff.

In the end, a picture that has been floating around the internet just following black Friday (a day that I usually LOVE, mind you!) kept coming to my mind and haunting me:

For some reason, I can’t seem to get this out of my mind.

Nor get the punch out of my gut.

I have physically seen similar faces to those on the children in the left.

And as hard as it is to admit, I have seen myself in the picture on the right all too many times.

How can I teach my kids about true service when I am constantly stocking us up on stuff??


… Usually these types of posts come with a plan and a resolve to change the world, or start some new plan of action, something that will suddenly teach my children all about world-wide service and unselfishness.

But not this one.  I haven’t gotten that far yet.

For now, I am just letting it stew.

The uncomfortableness.  The fullness.  The need to change the game plan just a little bit. Or maybe a lot.

I’m not sure what that game plan will be, exactly.

Just that I know it needs to change.

And it will.

But for now, a Merry Christmas to all,

And to all a good night!