I was recently telling my college-aged daughter about my long-standing, complicated relationship with Christmas. It's a swirly mix of a full calendar events, to-do lists, and a bounty of extra preparations in an already run-around schedule. Then there's the commercialism and expense, the wants and needs, the environmental demands in more, more more STUFF...all combined with the "happiest time of the year." I feel this phrase can be a misnomer of heightened expectations, especially as you get older and people you love are no longer here. High expectations can also easily lead to disappointments as reality and human frailty and flaws are at play. There can be a lot of pressure at this time of the year: the perfect gift, the perfect dinner, the perfect family events. In the mix, sometimes the true meaning of the season gets lost in the frenzy and stress. At times, it can make me perfectly Grinchly.
With all of that, I found myself apologizing to my daughter about my grinchly-ness because even on the cusp of total adulthood, she adores the season and all that goes with it. It's not my job to sprinkle my mixed feelings like snow in a snowglobe and dash her delight.
One thing that helps me to take a look at the gifts--both in my requests and in the ones I give. I know I'm fortunate and I really don't "need" more "stuff." My needs are fulfilled, with the exception of needing more time with the people I love. And when it comes to "wants," more and more, post-Covid in particular, I'm finding the wants also involve shared time over stuff. Time and togetherness are certainly clutter free. Perhaps this is why this list of 52 Clutter Free Gifts really spoke to me.
May it serve some inspiration for you too, and help center you this season in the true meaning of the holidays.
Image from The Art of Simple FB page and created by https://www.becomingminimalist.com/: https://www.facebook.com/theartofsimple/posts/pfbid037QU9xenu3NVybhUguae4rLXF5miJPprDAWs4TVLL2EHTi8wQuLQEfmBqoF8zBaV6l