Friday, December 18, 2009

Do you Feel there are Expectations for Christmas blog posts?

I feel like this is the time of year when I ought to be making incredibly meaningful posts about faith, service, family, memories and especially a Babe born in Bethlehem. Pressure is on, ya know?
But while I FEEL grateful for my Savior and enjoy focusing upon His birth... I don't have any inspiring thoughts to share that we all haven't already felt. My older sister had a wonderful post about finding Christ in Christmas. My younger sister had a wonderful post about acts of kindness and giving. I've got... well, I feel like the only things I have to say right now are pretty boring or mundane.

Who wants to read about the hours I've spent trying to send out Christmas cards, the corners we cut to try to make it affordable, the anxiety when we realized it was still about 100 dollars if you included stamps?

Along those lines, who wants to read about our determination to go cheap next year in all the gift, card, and package sending departments next year after the stress of realizing how much things cost this year?

Who wants to hear about the planning way back in August and September to make this year's Christmas goodies for our local friends, the time it took to label and tie ribbon on each, the joy of delivering them?

Who wants to hear about our role this year as rides to the airport since we are one of the only families here til Christmas, the stress of forgetting to pick someone up, the joy of chatting with them in the car as they prepare to reunite with loved ones for the holidays, the satisfaction and peace from serving where we can?

Who wants to read about the challenges of working out about a million different problems with paying tuition and registering for classes that begin in January, the anxiety it causes me, the insomnia, or the annoyance of being on-hold for 45 minutes only to be transferred to an answering machine of someone who doesn't call you back ever?

Who wants to know the details of my lack of computer skills, the fights I've had with technology as I'm making Christmas gifts, the frustration as hours of preparation goes down the drain when there is an error during the burning process, and another DVD joins his buddies in the trash?

Who wants to hear how grateful I am for Baby Einstein, for small distractions for the lil gal, for friends to play with, and friends to take toys from, and especially for days when she takes both her naps blissfully?

See, I haven't even made Christmas cookies. I probably won't. I haven't served in the community this year unless you count the rides to the airport. Other than that, I probably won't. I haven't bought new or donated old items to needy families. Unless you count the quilts at the beginning of the month, I probably won't. I haven't caroled. We probably won't. I just don't have anything inspiring this Christmas.

I hesitate to ask this, because I'm not sure I want to know the answer... But,
Do you think that means I'm not focusing enough on Christ?

Does anyone else feel like there is a strange pressure this time of year to be extremely inspirational in their posts?


  1. There is a time and season for all of those things. They don't all have to be done this year or even in the same year. In a perfect world, we would give small, meaningful gifts that connect us with family or the Savior...and would have them all done by Halloween. We would have our baking done right after Thanksgiving so that we could just do service and blissfully contemplate the reason for the season for the remaining month before Christmas.
    The reality is that it doesn't always work that way, even when with the best planning and the best intentions. And that is stressful and disappointing for all us moms (see tomorrow's blog post...).
    Still, there can be joy in the small things, when you can separate yourself from the ever-growing list of expectations that seem to go along with the holidays. This is why Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. :)

  2. I love your honesty! If we're supposed to have the spirit of Christmas with us all year, why the extra pressure during the holidays to be inspiring? And then we're supposed to come up with goals for the new year and blah blah blah. I think you're doing grand! You're a mom and that's all that is expected of you--to keep Gwen healthy and try to keep yourself sane. I only sent out 18 Christmas cards because that's all that came in the box and surprisingly the exact amount of family pictures I had left. The rest of you will get to read the letter on my blog. I did throw a Christmas cookie party but only because my husband is gone and I NEED FRIENDS!

  3. I have never felt pressure about what to post on my blog. It's YOURS. You post whatever you feel like. You just posted exactly what you wanted to without realizing it. You just journaled what you have been up to this December. I certainly don't think it means you're less focused on Christ! It's really not fair to judge others or ourselves.

    There is no one right way to live the gospel. There is also no one right way to celebrate Christmas. Everyone has their own traditions. It is funny though after you get married because you end up doing things differently than you always did growing up. And even if you do the EXACT same things you did growing up it's not the same as when your mom did all the prep/work. I enjoyed your post and I'm sure everyone understands. Merry Christmas!!!

  4. Elisa, You know you have your heart in the right spirit when you are concerned about those things. You are not thinking about yourself, but of others. That is the best way to remember Him. Your full time job is with one of His precious children: Gwen! What better Christmas can you spend than helping her realize the true meaning and importance of Christmas? Ya know all those memories you have? Those happened because parents took time to make Christmas different, special...even busy. Just remember, if Gwen knows her Savior, it's a success! :-) MERRY CHRISTMAS!

  5. Amen Elisa. That's a sad but true definition of our culture right there. I too feel like Christmas has become more about the stress over unimportant things than the true spirit of the holiday. Not only is it the most expensive time of year but who has time to post blogs when the whole energy of the season is hectic? I am just realizing I didn't post anything for three weeks but I'm grateful that I spent that time being with family instead of on the computer. Maybe January is the month for gratitude this year!