The authors observe that many of us plan out the details of our celebrations "right down to the kind of cranberry sauce" without first asking ourselves: Why am I celebrating Christmas? What is most important to me when I consider the Christmas season?
I don't know that I had really sat down to think about these questions so directly. From my reflections on what is important to me about Christmas, I realized that I want to place more of an emphasis on Advent and on the spiritual significance of the season. In addition, I highly value being together with family so I want to take that into account when planning activities and making outside commitments. I also think traditions are very important, and I'm excited for Eric and I to continue developing this aspect of our holiday. As I mentioned in the post on gifts, I hope that we will be able to refine our approach to gift giving as well.
Another exercise Kim gave me during our afternoon together was to imagine myself in the following situations and to select the one I found most satisfying:
A. You unexpectedly receive a check in the mail for $500 to spend on Christmas gifts.
B. You have the next two weeks totally free of responsibilities (including your job and the care of children) so that you can devote all your time to making Christmas gifts.
C. All your friends and relatives decide to scale down their gift giving this year, happily exchanging stocking stuffers instead of more elaborate gifts.
D. Gifts are reserved for young children. Adults celebrate by feasting, worshipping, partying, singing and playing games.
I'd love to hear from you: Which of these four imaginary situations seems most satisfying to you and why? I think I know what my sister would choose. =)
To end the series, here is the Christmas Pledge from the book that inspired these posts:
Believing in the true spirit of Christmas, I commit myself to
*remember those who truly need my gifts
*express my love in more direct ways than gifts
*examine my holiday activities in light of my deepest values
*be a peacemaker within my circle of family and friends
*rededicate myself to my spiritual growth
Thanks again for joining me in this series. There were many additional topics I had hoped to write about, including traditions, but the expanse of material available was too much to cover everything and I needed to follow the theme here and simplify. There's always next year!
I appreciated the depth in the comments from the week, and I always enjoy reading your ideas and hearing how some of these thoughts have challenged you. If you'd like to read some additional blog posts on "Simply Celebrating Christmas," Keeper of the Home hosted a wonderful carnival on that theme this past weekend. You can also read a review I did last year of the book Hundred Dollar Holiday.