|My own holiday creation:
Handful of walnuts in a jar!
Let the yearly onslaught of advice commence.
As we move into the holiday season, I need to gird my loins* for all kinds of helpful hints about what I, as a Christian woman, can do to make the holidays better, simpler, richer, tastier, lower in fat, higher in fun, more grounded, more spiritual, more contemplative, more festive, more with less—less sugar, more Jesus, for sure!
Already, just one week before Thanksgiving, the Web has already reminded me
1. To decorate my house with easy-to-make Christmas crafts, a fun-for-the-family activity that can be accomplished with material you already have! Do these folks also have a crappy craft cupboard, filled with construction paper scraps and dried out markers? What kind of decorations can be made with half a skein of yarn and scissors that don’t cut? Do they know how hard it is for some people to make crappy crafts with their kids? Simple Christmas, indeed.
2. To make cookies and candies for family and friends, wrapped in nicely decorated jars and plates, rather than spending time at the mall buying stuff no one wants or needs. I don’t know . . . does my diabetic dad need more candy? Does anyone really want the sugar cookies I bake, with blobby ginger bread people and misshapen Santas, made to look slightly drunk because I can’t get the dough to work right?
And a nicely decorated jar? Please. (See picture, above.)
3. To avoid weight gain during the holiday parties, I’m supposed to eat a small meal before attending said party, because somehow having a salad before facing a huge buffet will inoculate me, and the pumpkin pie and cheese balls (not served together, of course) will never tempt me. Whenever has eating a small salad inured me to the delights of Christmas cookies?
If not a salad, then a handful of walnuts will do the trick. Who are these people?
4. To let my husband make decisions about when to put up the holiday lights, when to cut down the Christmas tree, how to decorate. “Stop micromanaging!” I’m told. Sure, your Christmas tree might not have matching bulbs and lights, but let that stuff go.
Obviously, I’ve been doing one thing right already. My husband always decides when we put Christmas lights up (if I had my way, it would have been two weeks ago); he has final say on when to cut the Christmas tree; and, no matter how I put the decorations up on the tree, Ron always does plenty of rearranging, after the kids and I have gone to bed. (Which means, once I got smart, I started throwing the ornaments up on the tree any old way, since I knew Ron was going to change them. Makes the decorating go faster for me.)
The pressure to be a good Christian woman at Christmas time is intense—even when one is supposedly making the holidays simpler by making Jesus (and a handful of walnuts!) the reason for the season.
As I was trolling through Pinterest last week, looking for more holiday ideas, I discovered the Proverbs 31 ministry “From Chaos to Calm 5 Day Christmas Challenge” and I signed on for the challenge right away, always ready to build my Proverbs 31 cred.
For the next five days, I’m going to be getting emails that tell me exactly what I need to do to make my holiday less stressful and more blessed. My first email came today, and that’s when I learned my husband should have control over all aspects of the holiday. I guess I can check that one off the list. Feeling more calm already.
But here’s the cool thing: by virtue of signing up, I have the opportunity to win a Kindle Fire! That’s kinda why I signed on in the first place, to be honest: wouldn’t it be cool to have a Kindle Fire?! Just thinking about the chance to win something that awesome raises my blood pressure, just a little.
And, since I already have a Kindle Fire, which is really, really cool, I’d be willing to give the one I just might maybe win to someone else. Though I’m sure they’d rather have a plate of my homemade cookies instead, with a jar full of walnuts on the side—tactfully decorated with a few poorly cut pieces of yarn, for sure.
Anyway, stay tuned: I may become that Proverbs 31 woman yet. And if not, there’s always a Kindle to be won!
*Can a woman gird her loins?