Dec 25, 2017

Have it your way - Christmas Day 2017

I've been detoxing from computer use lately and it has been wonderful. With no cell phone in my life and my home phone answering machine switched to the 'off' position it has been a great time to relax, rest, nest and nourish my soul.  I thoroughly enjoy long bouts of solitude as I have begun to embrace and honor my 'loner' side, instead of trying to fix, fight or deny it. Winter is a perfect time for me to enjoy a slower pace of life with the welcomed quiet,  short days of winter as well as the much sought after private time. For me, Christmas is a time of rest and relaxation, for the most part.
                                                             
                                                                    


I got my fill of  2017 Christmas decor back in Oct and Nov. Ah- the days when Christmas came after Thanksgiving. Not so anymore. It is just so over the top these days. I think Instagram held a contest for the most Christmas trees one could fit into their home. Seriously,, some homes have a tree in each room or at least a half a dozen trees in their home, and some have trees lined up 3-4 in a row like a department store or mall. But hey, I have not been in a mall in over a decade, but I can only imagine what one looks like these days. Okay, the 10 trees in the home trend, well ah- that just short circuited my holiday mood.  Then I looked at a few more blogs the other day thinking that since the stores are already selling Valentines cards that blogs would be showcasing Valentine decor about now.. But pleasantly surprised  the trees are still up on most posts. That will all change just a few hours if not minutes after Christmas.

                                                           

                                                                                                                                  
I went to church yesterday and I actually thought it was Christmas instead of today. Everyone was saying Merry Christmas. Oh wait, were supposed to say that for a whole month, I think?  I love Jesus but the more I seriously think about and really consider the meaning and the origins of Christmas, well I  am not a big fan of birthdays or pagan traditions that have been up cycled and costumed to trick people into believing they have something to do with the birth of Jesus. I am not condemning your way of acknowledging or celebrating the holiday but lets be clear... Christmas is clearly made up of pagan traditions, with a little Santa frosting on top.                                   
                                                                     

Yes, sometimes I decorate for a holiday and sometimes not. However, since I found out my artificial  Yule / Christmas tree is made of PVC and is off gassing toxins in my home as well as being filled with dangerous levels of lead, I have chosen to keep in in the shed this year. Did you know you should use gloves to put up and decorate an artificial tree?  And small children should not touch the faux branches as well as the ornaments that have lead in the paint and are often made from PVC also. Now this information is certainly a holiday buzz kill for faux tree owners. Who knew?  I know my Jewish friends and menorah owning gentiles don't worry about their menorahs being toxic.Hmmm- on second thought, I better check that out.
              
                                                                     


 I wanted to make sure I sent Jesus's birthday card on the right day and for the life of me, I cant seem to find any place in the bible where it mentions His birth DATE or where it tells Christians to celebrate his day of birth. 
                                                                 

                                                                   
The commercialism of this holiday seems crazy to me. I see so many people who experience self induced stress, as they overspend and try to fulfill other peoples wish lists. Don't worry if you mess up and buy something they don't like  - it can be easily dumped in the landfill. Heck no one remembers what you bought them thirty days later anyway.  I've seen stats that claim that 60 -75% of gifts are donated to charities within a few months of receiving them. The environmental waste is astonishing. Did you know that most Christmas cards, and definitely those with glitter, as well as most wrapping paper (due to the toxic ink) is not able to be recycled? Just sayin.....

                                                                         


 Bringing it down to a very personal level - I have requested time and time and time and time again that my friends and family please not gift me with even more "stuff". ALL I WANT is to have my request honored. I live in a 560' square foot house now and more "stuff" NO MATTER WHAT IT IS, is not welcomed nor is it a happy thought for me. I am trying hard to downsize my life as well as my possessions. It is a never ending battle to get others to stop the 'gift giving' cycle. Downsizing, dumping and donating - is my mantra for 2018. Yet again, I request NO GIFTS PLEASE for holidays or birthdays. Some people tell me I should just say "thanks" and then donate or dump it. In the meantime the "stuff" sits in my car, collecting dog hair or taking up space in my home until I get it to it's final destination. I prefer to be honest and ask for these nice people to stop giving me more stuff.  IT just doesn't seem to work, and it is very uncomfortable, stressful, irritating and awkward for me to be gifted yet again. I wish I could be heard, and not feel stressed out over one more thing coming into my home. My deep wish and plea is for no more gifts or possessions of any kind to come my way. Instead -Spaying or neutering an animal in my name or giving to my favorite charity would be wonderful and appreciated.

 I know some of you minimalists or those who live in tiny or small homes deal with this same issue and any advice is appreciated. It stresses me out to the max. HOW do I get this to stop?  What is one to do in the case of compulsive givers who ignore my constant honest requests for no more stuff? Sigh.

                                                                     
 
My eyes are burnt out after looking at forty two thousand online Christmas trees over the past couple of days. I mean y'all did some amazing and beautiful super size decorating in your homes this year. A bazillion lights shining so bright, right thru my computer screen at night. Holiday shout outs go to the folks who have been in long lines, fighting traffic, rushing about and digging through stores piles, zooming through aisles just to find what seems like the perfect gift. Please take time to rest now and enjoy what you created for your 'have it your way' kind of day.. Enjoy the day with your friends family in laws, outlaws, significant others, fur kids.or in the joy of solitude.
                                                                                

As long as I can remember I have always hoped that Christmas would just zoom by. I do not like the expectations that everyone has of what I or others should be doing on that day. The more I study the bible, I find that there is not one reference for celebrating Christmas. That is because no matter how you dress it up or decorate, it is based on a pagan holiday. I do not believe it is a salvation issue. However I also have to ask myself "Does this man made observance of Christmas please my Heavenly Father?" And (for me) I would have to say "no". Will I go to hell for putting up a Christmas tree and decorating my home once again? - I do not believe so. I believe God extends much grace our way. Sometimes we Christians are able to lead unbelievers to Christ and salvation because of the Christmas story. That is a beautiful thing. Critical, rejecting spirit brings antagonism towards both the messenger and the message. May God Bless you and Merry Christmas. I am  not here to rain on your holiday.. Just sharing my thoughts and ideas here.
                                                            

As a child I remember the time when my mom revealed to me that she had made up stories about Santa and that she and dad were actually Santa. I immediately realized that I had been lied to for many years. My mother always told me to tell her the truth when she interrogated me. So, the Santa thing didn't set well with me. I guess some kids didn't take the Santa lie so hard, once they realized the truth. Heck, as long as their supply of gifts kept coming in, what was the big deal?  I had been deceived by my mother and now questioned what other lies she might be keeping, living or telling. Years later, some whopper lies came to the surface. That is another story.

 Now I know that most (or maybe not most?) kids do okay with the Santa experience but for deep thinking, inquisitive kids like me..It was a huge deal to find out Santa was not real and mom was a liar. I ended up hating Santa images, statues and Santa decorations, just like some people don't like scary clowns. To this day I dislike anything Santa. Just another little side-note to a holiday that holds some odd memories for me. Christmas has always been a questionable and strange and confusing holiday in my book. And now, even more so as a Christian. Like - why don't churches have Christmas service today it it's supposed to be a Christian holiday?  The confusion for me comes because it is a man made secular holiday, birthed from Paganism, dressed in baubles, glitter, consumerism, stories that hold no truth and lots of expectations. This is not to minimize the wonderful memories you may have or Christmas or the way you celebrate it. After all it is the most wonderful time of year for somebody. And I hope that somebody might be you. 

           

 So here we are. You never know what you are gong to get when you come over my way, to this blog. A very different post from my Snowflake themed home and yes tree, last year. This season these are just some of the things that have been on my mind. Just keeping it real folks.

One holiday blog post stuck out in my mind above the rest this Christmas season. The tree and home  are both beautiful, festive and VERY calming.  It's is my favorite holiday post this year and definitely my favorite tree. Why? - it is not a fancy tree that is falling over with trending ornaments, but it simply beautiful and so refreshing in a world of over the top trees that look near to catching on fire due to all the lights on them if they don't tip over first from the weight of the baubles on them.  It is unique and peaceful and not over done. It is grand in its simplicity and it is a statement to me. A decorated tree that makes one think, one that sticks in my mind and so I am sharing it with you below. If simple sea washed beauty speaks to you go visit the Sea cottage blog. Her home, photography and art are stunning.

                                                     

 To my enlightened Christian friends, and to my Jewish friends who both observe Hanukah, well y'all got it going on as far as Biblical holidays. You can now see why so many are so stressed out at Christmas time, can't you?      Shalom.
                                         
                            A good laugh no matter the day is great for the heart. Merry Christmas

It is never too late to have a happy childhood, (once you recover from the Santa is a lie drama) . ha-ha..ha... Oh, wait.. it's supposed to be - Ho, Ho, Ho. NOT.

                                                                          Blessings,
                                                                            Tonita

8 comments:

DownTheLaneWithDaisy said...

Having just spent 8 days in the hospital, I have the best excuse in the world for doing NOTHING and I do mean, nothing. No cards, company, nothing. Getting my health back is my Christmas present to me. As far as gift giving, I have the solution I've used for years. Ask people to give a donation in your name. Easy and everybody wins. Merry Christmas.

Carla said...

Great post!!! Years ago I told the adults in my family that I was not giving gifts to them anymore and please don't get me any. We can all buy what we want. I give the kids money. Done. No stress. I was thinking about the pagan holiday aspect also last week. Just seems like it's wrong to bend things to make it "Christian". Your images were hysterical. Hope you had a wonderful day.

Cilleto Fox said...

Tonita,
Thank you for reminding us to get "back to our senses" during this very commercialized holiday season. It should be simple, with all of us thinking of others. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to a "real" person...

Tonita said...

Eileen,
I am happy you are recovering and back at home. Crazy what it sometimes takes for us gals to finally make time to care for ourselves. I admire that you are focusing on your health. Good for you - keep it up. It's so easy to get lost in caring for everyone and everything but ourselves. You are on the right track. I send prayers your way for a full recovery and knowledge to do what is right for your health. Not good to depend on the doctors, we need to stay pro active. God bless you Eileen, and thanks for the tip. I have tried that one year after year but it falls on deaf ears. I think I will put a donation box at my front door next year. HA.

Seawashed said...

Merry Christmas Tonita. Embracing the peaceful stillness of Winter is worth seeking after. . Retreating into a quiet way of living has been healing for my soul and wholeness for my body. The holiday season can be very difficult for many of us. Thank you for sharing my seawashed tree and for all the kind words you share about my blog. Peace to you.

Tonita said...

Ahhh, you are so right....A simple, peaceful, quiet holiday season feels amazing. Not succumbing to others holidays expectations for my life is nourishing to my soul. Being okay with saying "No Thank you" in order to honor myself allows my heart to sing. And when I need a blast of "calm" I can count on your blog.

A Joyful Cottage said...

I know exactly what you mean about more stuff coming into your house. This year someone chose to play a little game whereby they anonymously left a little gift on our porch every night with a rhyme about gifts for the Christ child -- "Shall we give him something creative?" was an adult coloring back and colored pencils (which I will never, ever use), another gift was a Christmas decoration, another was a bag of candy "Should we give Him something sweet?" (which we don't eat and ended up giving away, and that made me irritable because all I was doing was contributing sugar to someone else's diet) and so on. I know I'm supposed to be happy that someone would go to that much trouble to try and bring us cheer, but I found every gift to be annoying. We don't need anything. Period. I wish they would save their money and write a check to a family that needs it. Or put together a food basket for a family in need with the money they spent on us. Dennis and I don't exchange gifts and we don't buy or receive gifts from our kids. I do buy a gift card for my 2 grandchildren, but that's it. We don't send cards, and we keep our christmas decor very simple (as you know). This eliminates the stress of the season and helps us just relax and enjoy the carols and hymns, and focus on Christ. I know celebrating the Lord's birth as Christmas was the church's answer to the pagan holiday of Solstice, but it's most likely here to stay and it does give us an opportunity to talk about Jesus with our family and friends who don't have a relationship with Him. So, we try to do that. This is a good post, Tonita, because it causes us to really consider how materialistic and commercial Christmas has become, and how we can either choose to ignore the whole thing or engage as we choose. Like you, I wish others would respect the fact that we don't want gifts. It's exasperating. Anyway, love you dear friend and I hope you did have a sweet, peaceful Christmas with your fur babies. Hugs.

Tonita said...

Hi Nancy, Thanks for sharing your experience and feelings. It would be so nice for others to respect our wishes for NO MORE STUFF or any kind or gifts. It is definitely exasperating as you say and I get worn out asking dear people to please respect my wishes. I just dumped 2 pounds of gifted chocolates in the garbage can. And exactly like you I feel each gift so annoying, especially because each person who gave a gift is a person I have personally shared my NO GIFTS request with. And they pay no attention. I do not know what to do to put an end to this problem. It really makes me angry that these people won't stop. What a waste of time and money. These people are wonderful and generous people.. they just won't listen. SIGH!!!!!! And then there are birthdays and then I want to crawl in a cave. Oh, by the way.. can I have your addy.. I have a little something I want to send you. LOL..just kidding.

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