I find myself feeling blessed that I discovered simplicity so early in our marriage. It has gotten us through financial and emotional hardships, and most importantly, it has helped us focus on what is important, and get rid of everything that is not.
(psst…this is a picture of Christmas)
Christmas is no exception. After one harried day at the beginning of the season, I decided I was never going to do that again. I didn’t want to spend Christmas rushing about, weaving in and out of crowds, getting more and more frustrated at people who were driving too slow or walking too slow or… standing in line wrong (That actually happened!). Christmas is about people!
And it isn’t just about the people we know and love, either. If I’m horrible to the strangers in line, just because they’re strangers, then I don’t really know much about Christmas at all. A simple Christmas is about love.
Christmas is also about being calm. Think of the way in which the Savior was born. It was not in the crowded inn; those were the people who didn’t have room for him. Instead it was in the quiet meekness of a stable. This should be a reminder to us that Jesus doesn’t care if we have the best table settings or the most people at our party. Our Christmases should reflect the spirit of his birth: calm, simple, and full of love.
This year we’ve started two new traditions: One is to give each family member only three gifts—one material, one spiritual, and one experience—to reflect the gifts of the wise men. (I even have a built-in quip if our kids ever complain about not getting enough presents.) I also decided to start a Christmas journal.
It’s nothing fancy, but it’s a place to store our thoughts on Christmas, our memories, and a few pictures to remember for years to come.