So, Xmas. Another December 25th has come and gone. I thought it would be worthwhile to review how I did and did not embody some of my personal values this season. I’d love to hear the same from you in the comments!
Less waste & reducing consumerism
- Bought some secondhand plastic toys rather than buying new.
- Several gifts given and received were things we needed anyway, just maybe with the fun factor ratcheted up a bit – superhero undies, for example.
- Conscious effort to restrain what we bought our kids knowing our lovely family would shower them with goodies.
- Laying the groundwork long ago that secondhand gifts would be welcome and enjoyed – extended family gifted some secondhand items as well.
- Several consumables given and received – candy, candles, bath bombs.
- About 1/2 the gifts wrapped in reusable wrapping – gift bags, drawstring bags, tins, etc.
- Paper plates and non-recyclable plastic cups for our holiday hosting.
- Went kinda hog wild on Black Friday.
- The other 1/2 or so of the gifts wrapped in throwaway paper.
Family togetherness & connection aka FUN
- Attended and enjoyed Xmas Eve at my BILs. Brought the Santa suit along for my 4 yo to wear and his 9 mo cousin sat on his lap. Hilarity.
- Had my side over to our house for Xmas Day. Made a fire and made s’mores in the fireplace. Had a bunch of favorite desserts and foods. People felt they could arrive well ahead of lunch – surprising me a bit, but happy they feel at home in our home.
- None here yet!
Egalitarian workload – emotional labor and otherwise
I’m trying not to own every detail of our married life. It’s hard, because it’s easier for my husband to let me do that, and often easier for me just to do it. Add the invisible societal expectations around it and it just seems like a no brainer to be “in charge” of Xmas. But I don’t want it to be all me. So I’m working on that. (P.S. I always feel I have to give the caveat that my husband is very active in home life. But the fact that I feel this way says that it’s still a force at work if I even have to point that out: “Hey! But my husband is an amazing anomaly!”)
- Refused to be the gatekeeper of the number or types of gifts for the children.
- Created a shared gift idea list in the app we use for sharing our grocery shopping list.
- Sent suggestions for what I wanted in my stocking. I guess that was kind of providing emotional labor though. But I was happy with what I got. LOL
- Co-planned Xmas hosting, using co-developed lists to communicate tasks and check them off.
- Not extending more emotional labor than necessary when my brother waited until the last minute to obtain a contribution for Xmas Day and didn’t feel he could find what I suggested and wanted further discussion and suggestions. So I told him whatever he wanted or nothing at all.
- Constantly having to pay attention to this.
- Having to set up the things like shared lists like the gift ideas in the first place – and then to find out the other day he didn’t even know I’d shared it.
- Coordinating/reminding/hounding my immediate family to declare what they would contribute on Christmas Day.
- Husband declared that he would not ever be texting anyone on our babysitter list (developed by me, of course) because he doesn’t want to be creepy.
- Total abandonment of sending Xmas cards or even electronic greetings. Just too hard this year.
Honoring the spirit of the season
I feel I have few wins in this area outside of the family time stuff. To me, this value is about giving to the broader community (didn’t, despite my best intentions) and engaging in worship or acknowledgement of the birth of Christ (ahem, a big fat zero in this area). The best I did was to get a few of my families from school included into the schools Giving Tree, ones who hadn’t been included in the program previously. So, big room to grow in this area.
How about you, dearies? If you are a celebrant, are you happy with how you honored your selves and your beloveds this holiday?