What you don’t see is what you get

During this morning’s procrastination blog reading, I ran across one blogger’s description of the cluttery, crafty, Christmasy mess that filled her home over the weekend.

Then I looked around our place, and this is what I saw:

cluttered kitchen countertop

cluttered entryway

fireplace cluttered with random pieces of wood on hearth

cluttered living room with Doc Martens boots

cluttered sofa table

mantel cluttered with burned-down candles

couch cluttered with dog and throw blanket

cluttered workspaceLots of clutter, to be sure–but not a wreath, tree, ribbon, red-and-green-anything in sight.

If you’ve read this post, you’ve probably guessed that I’m something of a holiday purist-curmudgeon.  My kids think I’m a little nutty on the subject (I’ll cop to that), but I’m pretty adamant about keeping Thanksgiving about Thanksgiving.  That means no Christmas until the whole Thanksgiving weekend is done.

I’m not swimming against the cultural tide for the sake of being different.  I just want things in our life to slow down. Rushing through Thanksgiving to get to Christmas faster isn’t how I want to do things.  If we can’t fit Christmas into three weeks, I think we’re doing something wrong.

So:  We don’t have a house beautifully decorated for Christmas.  We don’t even  have a tidy/nicely-cleaned house. We don’t have bags of gifts ready to be given, cards ready to be mailed, lights ready to be turned on, or even a tree ready to be trimmed.

But when I look around our cluttered house this Monday-morning-after-Thanksgiving, I can see exactly what I got this past weekend:

Time to sit and drink many cups of tea

Home-made biscuits

Time with the kids (who leave their book bags and flash drives around)

A warm fire on a cold, blustery afternoon

A trip to the library

Time with Cane (and his cursed/beloved Doc Martens)

Time to read books and watch TV

Candles glowing through a dark evening

Lap time on the couch with the dogs

A day of creative work with Cane

I may be a curmudgeon, but I’m not a purist.  I did buy a few Christmas gifts this weekend.  For the most part, though, this weekend was about slowing down, giving thanks, and spending time together.  We ate good food.  We took the kids up tubing in the mountain snow.  We window-shopped.  We did work that’s our kind of play.  We did the thing that increasingly feels like the biggest, best luxury to me:  We wasted time.

We did things that allowed us to fully feel gratitude for the good life we’ve got.

We can tackle the tree next weekend.

How about you?

How did you celebrate Thanksgiving? Am I a purist-curmudgeon who just needs to give it a rest about the holidays already? And how are you going to approach the rest of the holiday season?

As always, we’d love to hear from you. We might sound like we know what we’re doing, but we’re really just figuring things out as we go.