I think I must just be spoiled rotten, but this is the simplest Christmas ever.
1) Baking - Maybe food is so much of the holiday spirit: baking and such. Of which I have done none. I don't need the temptation and I'm sure the people I might make things for will get plenty of junk food from other sources.
2) Gifts - My sister has single handedly managed all of my family shopping. She loves to shop and may have over done her budget. So I took the opportunity to simplify my life, help my budget and hers by buying gifts off her. Awesome. I don't have to shop, I don't have to worry about transport of said gifts. I just show up, write her a check, do some wrapping and Voila! Done... Stress avoided, Spirit of the Season preserved with focus on family time.
3) Decorating - Ok it IS a little depressing, but I live in my office. If I were going to be here for Christmas then maybe I would have bought a tree and made it more festive, because I love a place that is warm and inviting, but I'm not going to be here. and Let me add to this that in my grown up single life I have lived in at least 10 different places and had probably more than double that number of roommates... I have shopped for decorations many times, received countless ornaments from students and friends, and I don't think a single item of Christmas decor has made the journey with me to this place. I am sorry, but I am happy not to spend money on decorations once again that will inevitably get left behind in yet another move.
So YAY for me, one more way to simplify Christmas in my life this year.
The only decoration I made was my Advent "Wreath" (and even that came out of things I already had in my decor with the exception of the candles.)
A little light to remind me that Christ the light was born so that I may have life. The candles remind me that there is hope.
I dare not hope that your Christmas preparations have been so easy, but I hope you have found peace and meaning in all the things you have chosen to take on. In all the frustration of family, and impatience while shopping, and exhaustion in cooking and cleaning.... please remember how much you love the people you are doing all this for, and remember how much they LOVE YOU! If something doesn't get done... who cares?! They want your health, happiness, and quality time most.
So my friends, I pray we will each be kind to ourselves and others in the days ahead, taking time for quiet and gratitude for just how much we are loved, starting with sweet baby Jesus. all "8 lb 6 oz, in his golden fleece diapers, playing with his baby einstein mobile" - take some time to thank Him and to love Him.