Christmas Joy (or What Can Happen When You Decide To Un-Decorate Christmas)

by cobaltandrising

And this is where some of you will think that I’ve tiptoed a bit too far out on the limb.  And that’s okay. I’m gonna slide on out anyway.

If you’ve been tracking with me for any amount of time now, then you’ve probably ascertained a few things.  I’m in the midst of an interesting period in life–an unexpected season of truly waking.  Today I told a friend it is a “hard cool”.  Hard because, well, some days it is.  Cool, because the gaskets of my heart get blown off day after day and in the greatest of ways.  I’ve started saying things–completely nuts kind of things–like “I wish everyone had the opportunity to go through a time like this.”

And this has been all very well and good until Christmas came along. Christmas, meaning my favorite time of the year.  Christmas, when I love all things to be red and green and sparkly and lovely.  Christmas.  (But my life is in storage and my decorations are in storage and I’m not even sure I feel like Christmas-ing this year…)

One of my favorite bloggers talks about “doing less and being more” during the holiday season.  I love this idea because for the last year or so we’ve been having less and learning how to be more.  The hard cool.

So, for a number of reasons, my husband and I made the command decision to do a 180 from the Christmas routine.  Instead of pulling all the Christmas decorations out the day after Thanksgiving, we…just…well…didn’t.  We talked about what’s really important to our family, and in doing so, we decided to un-decorate Christmas.

There’s not a Christmas tree…unless you count the 12-inch-tall foam tree that we helped our daughters put ornament stickers on during a rollicking after-dinner Christmas caroling party.  There’s not a garland on the mantle…unless you believe that red and green construction paper links constitutes such a thing.  There are no twinkling lights to be found…unless of course, you see them in the eyes of two sisters as they make glitter glue snowmen while laughing and singing Frosty and Rudolph.  Joy.

Some things were deemed too important to stay away…music, books, the stockings of children, the Little People Nativity Set, the essentials of celebrating Advent.  Other things haven’t even been missed.  Not a single bit.

I could tell you that this Christmas will go down as one of the most memorable of my life.  I could tell you that our daughters haven’t even skipped a beat.  I could tell you that I’ve never noticed how peaceful I feel, this, the week before Christmas Day.  I could tell you all of these things and much more, and then invite you to join me out on the limb of less and more.

But for some, that might mean un-decorating a lot more than just Christmas. And un-decorating your life, your heart, is so very hard to do.  This, I know.

So here’s an easier challenge instead.  This week, think about where Christmas Joy is hidden.  And un-decorate whatever you need to in order to find it.