Mama in the City

A blog about raising my family in downtown Vancouver

A Pared Down Christmas Enjoyed Wholeheartedly

I'm choosing to cut back this holiday season. I'm going to just say no to too many extras and try my hardest to enjoy these sparkly moments with my tiny children. Luckily I don't have a work schedule to battle with but I still have a full life of motherhood with two little ones. So, in attempt to pare back the Christmas chaos and make it enjoyable and not stressful I've kept some of our usual festivities and taken out others. This is my attempt to have it all and feel good along the way.

I've said yes to:

Decorating our Christmas tree! Of course! I think it is probably even more enjoyable with a 4 year old in the house. The glee from my boy was awesome and made me smile. I think he has my enthusiasm for the holidays. I remember our first Christmas with Ben and we were all so exhausted from our high needs baby that I just could not put up the Christmas tree and so I didn't.

Writing and mailing my Christmas cards. I have not missed a year and I get enjoyment out of finishing up the stack of cards and putting them into the big red mail box. I also really love the card that we picked this year.

My 4th annual cookie exchange with my work friends! Doctors and nurses go into a baking frenzy, baking 10 dozen cookies each before coming together for a party. We walk home with 10 dozen different cookies all packaged up in fancy tins. I'm pretty certain that this cookie exchange was the reason I gained so much weight at the end of my pregnancy last year. Butter! Butter! Butter!

Booking in massage therapy appointments with my favourite RMT just down the street. A little self care is mandatory and I am a big believer in taking care of yourself. For me, a great massage is where it's at. Self care can also be escaping into a hot bath and reading a book you've been trying to find time for. It can look like a weekend nap exchange with your partner or even an errand to the grocery store (BY YOURSELF! Weeee!).




I've said no to:

In the past we always packed up and headed out of town to my parents house a few days before Christmas and stayed until past Boxing Day. Now that we have 2 kids the idea of packing up all of their gifts and leaving our tiny home feels sort of sad to me. Starting our own family traditions as a family of 4 and staying in the city for Christmas Eve and Christmas morning is something that I want to do. I want the magic of Christmas morning all cozied up together in our apartment and so I am making it happen.

Attending too many holiday parties. I often feel the urge to say yes to every holiday party invitation that comes my way. I really love to socialize and see familiar faces but it often leaves me feeling drained and I'm going to avoid that this year. So, I've turned down the invite for my staff party and a friends festive evening get together.

Exchanging presents with everyone forever and ever. The truth is I do love to buy the perfect present for special friends but I want my effort to feel organic and not stressed. So, while we have decided not to do our annual pressie exchange we have decided to celebrate together by meeting up and sipping a special beverage together! Special time with a girlfriend is better than any sparkly body lotion in my book!

Buying too many presents for our family. In fact, on the heels of our two lovely
holidays my husband and I decided not to exchange presents with each other. In the past we would have gone all out and spent a bunch of money on gifts for each other. However, this year we decided to do a really good stocking for each other and let the presents be for the kids.



So, please share with me dear readers. Will you be having a fully indulged, perfectly decorated holiday season or are you thinking of keeping things simple?






5 comments:

We are also starting our own Christmas traditions in the city (vs. traveling to be with family in another province).

We've also foregone Christmas gifts with just about everyone (except Hubbs' family, who just can't do a "no gifts" Christmas, and Baby Loquacious of course).

We're nixing the tree for the year, but I do plan to decorate sometime this weekend. A little late, I realize, but I blame Hubbs because he needs to go get the Christmas goods from the storage room far far away.

We're not hosting a big shindig nor are we attending a bunch of parties. Baby L is just getting into a sleep groove and I don't really want to wreck it by being out late multiple evenings.

We *are* planning to check out all the great Christmas festivities around our gorgeous city.

I'm not baking for Christmas. It's just too much work! :P

So all in all, I think we're leaning towards a more simple Christmas. But a good one that I am excited for nonetheless! :D

December 5, 2012 at 11:17 AM  
mitzi said...

i had to read the 10 DOZEN COOKIES part. 10 DOZEN! Wow!

December 5, 2012 at 8:47 PM  
Kristin said...

Oh lovely!
YES to decorating, christmas music, gingerbread house and an attempt to do a family photo and online shopping, snow shoeing and sledding.
NO to travelling to see family, crazy expensive gifts, and gifts for friends we won't be seeing (I'd rather be present to give a present!)

December 6, 2012 at 10:01 PM  

This is the first time in 4 years, we've had a tree in the house. Theo is 3 now and very into all of it. He was too crazy around the three the past two years so we put a tree on the front deck, which he could visit every now and again! We'll also do stockings for the first time. We've done a couple of events (Van Dusen and Bright Nights) but I feel kind of done now. The rest of the hols will be Christmas movies and impromptu walks around the neighbourhood to look at lights. Woop!

December 9, 2012 at 10:04 PM  

I love this approach! Really write down and nail down what you want to do, to reallllly appreciate the delight of the season. And delete that which doesn't make your spirit soar.

December 11, 2012 at 9:43 AM  

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