The tree went up at our house today. Christmas freaks me out -- not so that I can't function -- just in a normal, everyday, freaked out kind of way. I have trouble finding the joy. Fortunately, my husband and my two older sons (5 and 2) have no problems at all finding the joy. My five-year-old was happier today than I've seen him for a long time -- he was totally giggly at dinner. He spend the day getting and decorating the tree with Daddy, as well as putting up lights outside. The two-year-old doesn't quite get it, but he's enjoying things plenty.
I stress. I stress about getting the right gifts. I stress about not spending too much money. I stress because I want to live and spend according to my values, but I get the gimme bug just like most people do at Christmas. I want things for myself, but I really like shopping for my kids. But whatever comes into the house I will be picking up, possibly daily. And often I think we have just enough (and a cellar full of extras). Besides, the kids more often play with a box, some yarn, an empty laundry basket, and each other (and maybe the eggbeater) than they play with all our toys. But I want to get them magnetic building toys, a chiming roller toy, puzzles, hexagonal stacking blocks, hooded towels and other stuff too -- and I haven't even asked my husband what he has in mind for them.
Next week my family is lighting the Advent candle at church and we've been asked to say a few words about joy -- that must be the universe talking to me. So this year's holiday mission is: find the joy.