|Courtesy of Graphics Fairy|
I just love this time of year. The leaves have fallen, the snow is here. It's time to snuggle in and be cozy. It's also a season for celebrating "the most wonderful time of year" - Christmas. The birth of our Lord Jesus Christ.
As many of us are aware the Christmas season can quickly become chalk full of "to-do's" and "you must go see's" and a sprinkle of fun get togethers with friends and family. It doesn't help that Christmas decorations are put out in Sept. to help get us in the mood. With only 29 days from Thanksgiving to Christmas, that is a lot of events to squeeze into 29 days so I have my own tradition of being done with my shopping by the Saturday before Thanksgiving. Yep! This year, Nov 21 is my target. So far I am on time.
This tradition started when we were stationed overseas. The mailing cut off to get to the states in time was something ridiculous like Nov 30 for standard and Dec 5 for priority. Anything after Dec 13, forget about it. Unless you wanted to pay more for shipping than the gift!
I have slipped in my tradition a few times. And always pay for it in stress and crazy behavior. I'm not a pleasant person when I have too much on my plate, especially around Christmas. Christmas means so much to me and I like to enjoy the season.
So, my shopping is done except for stocking stuffers (I'll share what our family does about that later.). Having my shopping done allows me to go into Thanksgiving with ease and get my cards and packages mailed the first week of December.
When the kids were little we did cards the day after Thanksgiving and each signed their name ( I don't sign for everyone, it takes away the specialness of receiving something with each person taking the time to sign.)
After packages are mailed, I can breath and embrace all the traditions the history of the Church has had the we do. Like Advent, the Jesse Tree, St Nicholas, St Lucy - I love this one! On this day you plant wheat seeds and they will sprout in time for Christmas. Just in time for hay for baby Jesus to lay on!
I don't shop on Black Friday, and I usually don't do Cyber Monday either. Why? I'm done by then. I save some by the deals I do come across, most of all I save my sanity and peace. I know a few women that start the day after Thanksgiving and end Dec 24. That is their Advent tradition, and they don't get out to family get togethers or socials or Christmas events like the Nutcracker. That's for them, not me.
For me, today, I have one more gift for my son-in-law and stocking stuffers for my husband. I'm looking forward to decorating, and celebrating through the month...and it feels great!