6 days - giving and not getting caught up in the material

Christmas is 6 days away. 6! We're ready. The decorations are out, cards sent, the gifts are bought and wrapped, music being played, I have some cookies in the freezer, and more coming this weekend, the meals are decided on, and plans have been made. Yet it still surprises me and freaks me out a little that it is so damn soon. How did it arrive so quickly, and with it the New Year just a week later?!

I love Christmas. It is one of my favorite holidays of the year. I love the big special meal, the extra time off of work and the time spent with family. I love picking the perfect gift for family. And yes, I do love opening a pretty package on Christmas morning, wondering what's inside.

As much as I have moved away from gifts and buying and consuming this year, it is still just so ingrained. I think we did pretty well for ourselves this year. I asked mostly for an experience gift, tickets to Wanderlust (in VT), which I have been dying to go to for ages. As well as the lodging to go with. And yes, some yoga clothes to make it through the experience clothed! Trav asked for, amongst other things, a gift card/tickets to see movies and for an activity he/we could do with Gwen. For Gwen most of the presents from us are ones she will enjoy, but which have a practical edge: boots to get her through the rest of the winter, more fleecy PJs, since she's outgrown more of her PJs then I anticipated a month or so ago.

Still when I looked at those precious few packages under the tree, with even fewer frivolities, I had a pang of guilt about it. Which is silly. Especially now that we've added packages from Trav's parents and his brother and SIL. That tree is looking MUCH fuller (and much more toy laden). And that doesn't even include the gifts my parents and brother will bring with them, nor a few special, much requested gifts from Santa.

We spend a lot of time emphasizing to Gwen the other aspects of the Christmas season, and what is really important. Family, generosity, giving back, and appreciating. But even with all my work on not consuming this year, and changing my mindset, its amazing how ingrained it really is. I'm still working in these moments to walk the walk, and talk the talk; which I will continue to work on until it becomes second nature and I don't even have to think about it anymore.

I don't think I could ever do a completely "nothing new" Christmas, but I'm going to keep working on getting closer. In the meantime, I'm going to stop with the guilt and just appreciate how blessed Gwen is (and we all are) by our friends and family.

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