I’m not much of a holiday person. If fact, I’d be happy to hibernate from Thanksgiving to January 2. I wrote about that here.
When it comes to Christmas decorating, I am beyond minimalist. Being a gardener and plant enthusiast, I buy poinsettias and amaryllis. I throw a wreath on the door. I have a tiny little potted evergreen tree outside and I put lights on it.
And then there’s the Christmas tree. We have
a fake an artificial, pre-lit tree that lives in the garage 11 months of the year. We have a box of ornaments that also lives in the garage. Hubs helps me locate the tree and bring it inside. Some years he’s mildly annoyed at this task; other years you’d think I was asking him to give me a kidney. Hubs and I are decidedly not the couple that drinks hot cocoa, plays Christmas carols, and decorates the tree together. He drags the thing inside and I decorate it. And for 31 years, I’ve been ok with that.
This year, I found myself not in the mood to deal with the tree. I decided to go through an exercise that I do with many of my coaching clients. I separated the “should’s” from the “want to’s.” Here’s how it played out in my head:
- Society tells me I “should” put up a tree. After all, it’s Christmas time!
- What will the neighbors think if I don’t have a tree in the window?
- I doubt the neighbors are worrying about whether or not I have a tree, and if they are, that’s their problem.
- I don’t want to spend the time putting up the tree and unwrapping and hanging ornaments. I’m just not into it this year.
- We’re not having people over this season and hubs and I are rarely in the room where
weI put the tree. No one’s going to see it.
- The thought of taking down all of those ornaments at the end of the season exhausts me.
- But I really love driving down my driveway after a long day at work and seeing the lit tree in the window. I will miss that if I don’t put up the tree.
By separating the “should’s” from the “want to’s” I did something a little unconventional. On Sunday I put up the tree, but did not decorate it. Now when I come home from work, I get to enjoy the lights in the window as I drive down the driveway.
I told hubs I’m reserving the right to decorate the tree this weekend if the mood strikes, meaning he might have to excavate the ornaments. He sort of grunted in what I am interpreting as approval.
For now, I’m pleased that I only put forth the amount of effort that would give me joy in return.
What about you? Are your holidays filled with activity that brings you joy, or are their some “should’s” hiding about? I’d love to read your comments.