This year I'll be approaching Christmas in much the same way as last year. That means:
No fruit-cake baking way in advance
Online shopping for most gifts
Minimal food preparation
Possibly one Christmas craft session with the kids
Fuss-free house decoration
Basic tree purchasing and decorating
No extra cleaning or entertaining
Possibly not one card gets posted
This will leave me free to:
Read lots of Christmas stories
Snuggle under blankets with golden haired boys and watch seasonal movies
Plan and write letters to Santa
Arrange nightly visits from our Christmas fairies in December
Bake one easy cake, probably Nigella's clementine cake as that's become our go-to Christmas cake
Relax and hibernate after a busy Summer and Autumn
Eat lots of buttery homemade popcorn
Spend time on what really matters, my loved ones, growing up so fast.
Listen to corny Christmas records
Play endless games of Monopoly
Read Harry Potter aloud for hours and hours
Wash and dry our Christmas jumpers
I've taken a huge step back from online activity in recent weeks. The blogs and Facebook friends I follow got so gung-ho about planning and documenting their perfect Halloweens, I'll leave them to Christmas and drop the feeling that I "should" be doing more.
I am no Scrooge, don't get me wrong. Christmas is my favourite time of year, and I spend a big chunk of energy (and money) making it as magical as possible for my boys.
But there's no Elf on the Shelf guilting my kids into better behaviour, no scrapbooking Christmas memories, no pre - planned menu or huge shopping lists (the shops only close for ONE day, people!!) There's no expensive visit to Santa, no pantomime or musical tickets (because the kids don't want to, not because I'm cheap!) there's no pressure to be anywhere, look anyway, do anything. We have one date for Christmas dinner with extended family (which we look forward to) and everything else is totally up to us. We can stay in our pjs for 3 days running. We can watch movies for 12 hours a day. We can go to every Christmas market and ice rink, or none, and still have a wonderful time. I can document none of it and still have had the best Christmas ever.
I love being free to choose how I spend my days. Especially these precious days where all we need is each other and the wide world can wait.
How about you?