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Ho, Ho, Humbug?

Sometimes less is more

Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year. Not because of all the gifts I'll receive, or the extra food that I can justify eating.

I just love how nice everyone is to everyone else. There is a feeling of warmth, giving, looking out for each other, getting together with family and friends, and actually making time for what is important in life.

I have had my Christmas tree up since July. Please do not judge me! There is a good reason. I promise, there really is a good reason. But that does show just how much I like Christmas.

My house has been dubbed by many of my friends and family as Winter Wonderland. Every year, I tend to pack a lot of Ho-Ho Spirit into a pretty small space. From heirloom tree ornaments and decorations, to handmade stockings and pillows, to my collection of recently aquired Winter Birds. And of course, to what I call Dollies On Mainstreet; my Dickens Village, that is actually an homage to Disneyland.

Santa Claus waves hi next to a decorated Christmas tree

Scaling back

What is different for me this year, is that I didn't go all out. I guess I really haven't since 2019, the last 'normal' Christmas in recent memory. With everything in our lives so topsy-turvy, I just couldn't summon the energy or excitement to put out anything but the Christmas tree the past three years, and even that I just pretty much only decorated with picks and sprays.

This year, I did put a little more out than in the past three years. Some nutcrackers, a collection of porcelain bells, and the 'good' tree ornaments, that live in my china cabinet during the other eleven months of the year. But that's it. Most of my gift shopping I did online. I didn't have to hassle with the crowds at the shopping centers. The only baking I did this year was for a neighborhood party.

A plus from a minus

Amd I'm totally fine with all of this. This year it was a choice. A choice to just have enough out to be festive. I don't need to look at all that I have stored out in the garage. In fact, this summer I donated about half of my decorations. Let someone else benefit from some of the joy that I've gotten from them over the years.

The lights that I have up are all on timers, so I don't even need to flip switches.

I've put my energy into spending quality time with family and friends. I've been watching Christmas specials and movies. going to live music events, and visiting the local estate that is decorated to the hilt. Walking in my neighborhood and driving through the local areas that really 'do it up' every year, oohing and aahing over the outdoor lighting displays.

The hustle and bustle that used to represent Christmas for me is no longer how I define the holidays. I think the years 'off' during the pandemic has changed how I look at and how I celebreate the season of Christmas. So maybe instead of looking at how Christmas was taken away from me for a few years, I can now see it as how I was given something.

Given the serenity and joy that was there all along. I was just always too busy to recognize it.

Debra Elaine is a California-based Voice Actor and Medical Narrator delivering professional voice over from her home studio via ipDTL & Source Connect. Learn more >>


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