Friday, December 24, 2010

All the Things I Didn't Do This Christmas

frosting plate

"I'm knee-deep in cookies and smiles," I told her, "and for the first time ever, all my presents are wrapped before midnight."

What's the secret? Nothing much. Just that this year, I decided to do what Gordon said. Let the goodness of Christmas sneak up on me.

That meant letting things go, and not adding anything new.

I saw talk of cool things to do with one's kids. I let the talk slide by and simply appreciated how other families have chosen to celebrate Christmas. I didn't make cookies on time and waited until my kids stepped up to the cookie-making plate (so to speak :).

ginger lady

In my experience, Christmas is the time when we try to make up for the rest of the year. Give more, be more, faith more. I decided not to do that this year. Come January, I'll have eleven months to give, be, devote... without the pressure of getting it right in 25 days flat.

cookies on wood counter

All those Christmas catalogs asking for money for the poor? They're in the recycle bin. Does that sound harsh? What it really means is I'm looking forward to an Orphan care series this January and February over at There will be important conversations and chances to think through how I can help orphans maybe for a lifetime. I want to think about this seriously, without the pressure of making just the right choice *now*, to prove my Christmas spirit.

cookies 2

There are years when I poke through the catalogs and give. There are. But not this year. There are years when I find new recipes for Christmas Eve. Not this year. (I'm falling back on the "shepherd's meal" my kids and I worked out a few Christmases past.) There are years when I run blogging projects and I finish things like my 12 Days of Christmas Poetry. Not this year.

cookies 1

This year I'm letting the good things of Christmas sneak up on me. Instead of trying to make it all happen myself. Maybe there's a gift in that, to receive.


Merry Christmas, sweet friends. May the good things of Christmas sneak up on you. See you in the New Year. :)

Cookie Photos by L.L. Barkat. Cookie Art by the Barkat girls.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a good post. I agree, it's so easy to try to be and do everything at Christmas and act like the rest of the year we don't have to be or do anything. Wonderful perspective.

And Oh MY! regarding all those sprinkles. ;)

12:59 PM  
Blogger Maureen said...

One of the good things that arrived Wednesday goes by the name of McDuff, a rescued Westie. He brings laughs every day. And when he crashes, such peace reigns.

Merry Christmas!

1:39 PM  
Anonymous Dan R said...

When I read, "I decided to do what Gordon said," I got scared. ;) But He does give some good advice sometimes. Merry Christmas!

3:59 PM  
Blogger Lorrie said...

Merry Christmas L.L., I hope that heaps of blessings track you down this season and into the next year!
Very discerning post I'd say :-)

4:43 PM  
Blogger Linda said...

I felt my whole heart just relax a bit reading this L.L.
Thank you so much for the gift of you this year. It has been such a joy to get to know you and to read your wonderful writing.
Blessed Christmas!

10:46 PM  
Anonymous children of eve said...

LL- I love it, and I agree completely. I had a lovely, relaxed Christmas. I eliminated all pressures and am having a great time. The "trickle down" effect is happening too, the family is peaceful. We will bake our special cookies tomorrow, the dough has been patiently waiting for 3 days.

ps-Do you dehydrate your cookies to crisp them? I notice the tray.

7:05 PM  
Blogger Louise Gallagher said...

Great post -- and idea to celebrate life all year round.


8:56 AM  
Blogger SimplyDarlene said...

So miss L.L., what do you eat first? The head, arms or feet?


9:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

LL -- I am just reading this now, two days after Christmas. But today was when I needed to hear this. Today is the day when I could regret what I didn't do. But I'm not going to do it. I am going to accept what snuck up on me!

Hope you are safe and warm with all that snow! My goodness, you guys are having a blizzard, huh?

5:27 PM  
Anonymous Mel said...

I did the exact same thing this year and it is freeing! We are going to spend this week of break making some goodies and cookies but there is NO reason those things HAVE to be done the week before Christmas. I spent 2 hours wrapping all the gifts Christmas eve. I just let everything go. No expectations and it was a relief. I enjoyed our day so much more. I made my 10 min monkey bread for bkfst Christmas morning and the kids were thrilled.

Please feel free to stop by: Trailing After God

7:13 PM  
Blogger S. Etole said...

sneaking up because I didn't make it in time to wish you a merry Christmas ...

7:31 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I'm learning ... it still feels strange , but only briefly..
mostly it feels wonderful.

hope you are feeling the joy and peace of the season to the upmost .

7:28 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Oh, just...I have been missing you--missing your words. Stopping by to let you know :). Happy New Year, may it be wonder-filled, my friend.

11:23 PM  
Anonymous Cheryl Smith said...

I wish I had read this at the beginning of December. :)

One of my words for 2011 is simplify. I think this post has some great ideas for me to mine for the year ahead.

12:02 AM  

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