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What Are You NOT Doing This Christmas?
After this column on how pathetic I am with following through with the typical Christmas traditions, I've received quite a few emails from women saying that they, too, are Christmas challenged.

Here's a great one from Valerie, who blogs here and here. (She receives my column by email; do you?):

Finally another mom not afraid to admit she not only forgets to pay for teeth to be returned (heeheehee), but is not afraid to admit that she is not one for rising early for a month and a half baking, making cookies, candies and all kinds of goodies. I no longer feel like a "failure" in that area.

I had a revelation reading your Reality Check today, God just did not make me that way. Sure I make a few cookies, but they get eaten right away. I will make a few more this year and try to attempt a gingerbread house (only because I made a ginger bread cookie for a cookie bouquet and had enough left over) with my grandson to take home today, but that is probably it.

I forget to send thank you notes, I forget to make cookies and pies, and we run out of things like coffee and creamer and cereal here, and you know what, that is okay. Honestly I woud rather get a cheese tray, a meat tray, a fruit tray, some crackers, and just sit around with my family and enjoy them, letting them come and go during this busy time. I have 2 boys that are 22 & 20 and then a 12yo boy and a daughter who is 10. The 20 year old is just returning from Iraq, I do not plan to spend this time in the kitchen complaining, when I could just be thankful for what little time I have with him and his fiance.

My oldest is as home, but gets his son every other weekend, all my life all I wanted to be is a grandma, and gimaw is the sweetest word I have ever heard. We sit in the mud and play, we play with hot wheels cars, we eat cookies hot out of the oven, and he loves my biscuits. It just does not get much better than that. I am lucky, my kids are not picky and do not expect big huge meals and like their mother would rather sit around and graze and just enjoy each other. Life is to short not to.

I think that's great!

And so along that vein, I'd like to tell you what else I WON'T be doing this year:

I'm not sending out Christmas cards. It takes too long and people don't really read them.

I'm not writing a Christmas letter. I spend my life writing e-newsletters for all my fans and this column, if people want to know what I'm up to, they should subscribe! It's Free, after all, and my daughters are already mortified at all the personal details I put in them. What else is there to tell?

Besides, you can always keep up with me on Facebook (search for Sheila Wray Gregoire) and Twitter!

I'm not putting up more lights than are necessary outside. It's just too much to take down. And our neighbours have such lovely lights; I can just enjoy theirs!

I am not buying presents that everybody will OOOH and AAAHHH over. Frankly, my extended family doesn't OOOHHH and AAHHHH that easily. I am buying things that are important to me. If they don't like them, that's okay. But I'm doing all my Christmas shopping in a bookstore, because books tough the heart. I am just not buying Hannah Montana C-R-A-P for my niece. I can't do it. Even if it's the only thing on her Christmas list.

What are you not doing this Christmas? Let's get liberated and admit it, and stop feeling guilty!

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To Love, Honor and Vacuum

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At 9:45 AM , Blogger Kathleen said…

I am not spending a fortune on a family Christmas card. If my friends have forgotten what we look like, they can find lots of photos on Facebook or my that will last longer than the cards that are immediately trashed.

I am not writing a family letter. If my friends want to catch up, well, see FB and blog above.

I am not schooling for most of the month of December. Trying to do so gets me too stressed, and then the schooling as well as other activities suffer.

We did not put up outside Christmas lights...again...even though we've been saying we might for the last 3 years since we moved in.

I am not baking a thousand different kinds of cookies to give to church friends, homeschool friends, and neighbors...even if they give us something, and I feel badly for not reciprocating.

And my worst confession...we are not staying home for Christmas day, and we are not spending the day with anyone but ourselves! Here's where the honesty comes in (and hopefully, my family doesn't track me down here!): Every year is such a struggle to plan because there is always a mother whose feelings get hurt. We would rather always host Christmas dinner here, but our mothers want a turn too. This year was heading down the Hurt Feeling Lane, so we decided to leave...we're going to Chicago on Christmas day! We're still celebrating with our moms and dads, just on Christmas Eve.

OK...that was rather long, but therapeutic. Thanks a lot! :-)


At 8:28 PM , Anonymous Cmommy @Singalullaby said…

Sheila, great topic! The Christmas card has been on my mind this week...I just don't want to spend $20 on postage. And, my four children are not cooperating for the necessary photo!

Our church is promoting Advent Conspiracy (you can look up the video on YouTube or check my blog) which advocates "Spend Less, Give More". We are volunteering in children's church at a Christmas service (there are 10!), making sugar cookies after brunch with a neighbor, giving homemade treats and tea as adult gifts, and spending a whole lot less on the children.

With a two week school break, I hope to make memories with the family. :-)


At 11:01 AM , Anonymous Renae said…

I really wanted to send out Christmas greetings this year, but my parents are visiting and the time is slipping away. I don't want to be stressed out during our visit so I'm getting rid of the mental clutter and guilt. Glad to hear I'm not the only one!

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About Me

Name: Sheila

Home: Belleville, Ontario, Canada

About Me: I'm a Christian author of a bunch of books, and a frequent speaker to women's groups and marriage conferences. Best of all, I love homeschooling my daughters, Rebecca and Katie. And I love to knit. Preferably simultaneously.

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