FYI, this is a musical accompaniment to the theme of the post, if you should so choose, it is not something I am suggesting you watch.
I am discovering, in my first year in a new home, how many traditions we had that I wasn't even aware of having. But the LACK of them has left a void.
For example: the all Christmas music, all the time radio stations from October 31-January1. Is there one here? Maybe. But I haven't found it. When I found myself lacking in Christmas spirit I put on some CDs, but boy, it's like they've been though a grinder. When did my CDs get all scratched? That, and I'm missing a few of my favorites. I have since discovered that KLOVE has an all Christmas music all the time player on the web. If I can get over the tinny sound of music coming through my computer, I might adjust. Not that it is available in my car. And it competes with all the music on various sites I visit. But it does work when I'm painting my kitchen (another post, another day).
Another example: I'm not insanely busy going to obligatory parties. Are there parties going on? Likely. But I don't know about them. And I find that I simply do not care. Which leads to:
Party food. No parties. No need to find interesting party food to bring. And another thing:
White elephant gifts. Do you have any idea how hard it is to come up with unique ideas for multiple parties every. single, year? I have not a one. NOT ONE. Oh, the freedom. Oh the available mind space.
I have one child in one Christmas program. I drop her off on Tuesdays after school, pick her up an hour later. The program will be on a Sunday.
I do not have six programs to attend. I do not have to come up with donations for silent auctions. I do not have to work in the kitchen. I do not have to make soups and chilis and dips. I don't have to make frantic trips to the grocery store. I don't have to work functions. I don't have to feel guilty about not taking my kids to see the Plaza Lights and I don't have to answer that we choose not to spend our money on cold carriage rides. I don't have to make conversation with strangers that are masked as friends. Oh, the liberty.
So I have developed some new traditions:
I wake up early. Every day. An interesting aside, this is WIDE awake long before the alarm is set to go off. I often startle awake with a to-do list a mile long, but I attempt to ignore it when I shuffle downstairs and flip on the Christmas tree lights and the fire and the coffee pot. And I spend time with God in the glow of the lights or the fire. I reset my priorities.
I check my email for news about my girlie. A hundred times a day. I respond to emails that need my attention. Most do not. *sigh of relief*
I made my alternate gift giving party and annual event. That occurs before Thanksgiving. (Why didn't I think of THAT before?) It is long over before the stress of December rolls in.
I sing with my kids. Just for fun. I sing to my kids. Just for fun. I annoy the heck out of my kids. Sometimes they laugh.
Wait! I almost forgot! Family! We're spending LOTS of time with family!
And we are hopefully....HOPEFULLY....making Christmas less about the stuff of the season and more about Jesus.
That's a tradition I can get behind.