I've been in a funk this December.
You might could even call me a Scrooge.
We did our "Christmas countdown" with the kids (which they loved- more soon), but I was often pretty half-hearted.
Our tree was barely up. I stopped at which point my hands and arms were significantly scratched up from fluffing and my 4-year-old critic questioned the "grey stuff" I was putting all over the tree (some call it silver ribbon). And there it sits.
There were no other decorations to speak of. In fact (and I can't believe I am about to admit this), as of the 10th of December, I still had 6 adorably monogrammed pumpkins on my front porch.
And until the very last minute, I'd purchased very few gifts (and those few were thanks to the convenience of my dear friend, Amazon).
I seem to get this way at about this same point post-baby-birth. I don't know exactly why. Its kinda like a delayed onset of post-partum funk. Maybe its that I'm pulling up out of "survival mode" just in time to try to figure out how we're going to include this precious baby, who is becoming more and more like a person, into our everyday life. And I'm just sleeeepppppyyy zzzzzzzzzz. When adding Christmas to that, my Christmas tradition list has just turned into a Christmas to-do list. Only I never make it past my normal to-do list of laundry, dishes, etc with enough energy to start on the Christmas to-dos.
But this year there was really more to it. I had trouble reconciling in my heart the hurt I see around me with the joy my family experiences at Christmas. I don't think that's the way it is supposed to be. I don't think being aware of hurt should keep me from enjoying my blessings. It should just spur me to look for ways to share them, but i just found my self distracted.
Because of my Christmas "funk", this idea (by the super thoughtful Sarah), the idea of "Neighborly Blessingmas Revolution of 2012," was a huge blessing for me. The idea that something small for me might make a huge difference for others. Maybe a huge difference in the way my children perceive neighbors and a huge difference in the way my neighbors perceive us. Trust me, they might need some perspective help. (Reference above, re: our December pumpkins and add this fact: we rarely rake leaves from the neighborhoods two biggest leaf-dropping trees).
The idea was easy- work together to bless our neighborhoods. To take time during Christmas, during advent, to share the J-O-Y! I love it. Its definitely a new favorite tradition for us. The kids loved baking and they LOVED delivering. And for a bit, this ole Scrooge had some Christmas spirit. Isn't that how it usually works- blessed by what you do for others? That's what I want my kids to know about Christmas.