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14 days until Christmas…

This morning, I have to sadly report that the Christmas season is getting busier and doesn’t show signs of slowing down.  My blog is named ’embrace chaos’, because I do just that.  I’m not good at relaxing, slowing down or experiencing any type of leisurely lifestyle, although I do have some deep down desire to do just that.

In trying to evaluate my schedule and why it feels so hectic, I did realize a few things this Christmas season.

One thing is that there’s more to do during Christmas, but the rest of the busyness and regular weekly tasks don’t go away or change to accommodate this reality.  Due to the commercialism of Christmas, most people are not only busier in their personal lives, but also at work.  I work for a church, and although it isn’t busier for the same reason, there’s still a lot on my plate.  I’ve come to the conclusion that everything on my plate is attached to bungee cords.  The tasks might be accomplished, but they eventually come back, and with much more force the time second time around.

So as much as I would love to blog all of my many thoughts on this topic, I simply don’t have the time.  I have to get the kids up, drive across town for Joe’s wrestling, go to work and finish my weekend stuff before the 2 o’clock rehearsal, finish making our ‘tinselectomy’ Christmas gifts, finish two freelance jobs, start another one… okay, you get the point.

Take the time this year to evaluate your hectic Christmas season.  Although I’m too busy, I’ve started the evaluation process and I’m looking for innovative changes to create the magic word we all crave: BALANCE.

19 days until Christmas…

I’m six days into writing, and pondering so many Christmas topics that have been on my mind, but more in my heart.  I spend far more time in cognitive contemplation, but rarely to I visit the affliction or spirit of my heart.  What is Christmas spirit and what does it mean?  Well, just to be sure I had the correct definition, I Googled ‘Christmas spirit’.  The results were quite enlightening.

ehow.com has instructions on how to get into the Christmas spirit.  It doesn’t tell you what it really means, but you can get the spirit in just eleven steps.  It starts with telling you to shop early so you don’t have to fight crowds and find a parking space.  The other points have a somewhat ‘tinselectomy‘ feel to them.  At the end of the steps, it has a nice tip telling us that Christmas is not about materialism, it’s about love and kindness.  Following that are several ads for decorating your house, great gift giving ideas and many other places to shop online.

So once you get in the spirit, then you should join the Christmas consumerism?  Change your life in eleven steps, but then go back to your habitual ways?  If I’m understanding this correctly, you go do your Christmas ‘feel good’ things, feel the spirit, then do this again once a year.  I think I’m searching for something bigger than this, something life changing, not season changing.

Wiki-answers tells us what the Christmas spirit is.  It says there is ‘something’ that makes us more selfless, more kind and just much nicer around Christmas time.  It goes on to say, sadly, that the Christmas spirit is not as prevalent today, probably due to the commercialism of Christmas.  This invisible, yet real spirit doesn’t visit as often and the day after Christmas, it disappears.  Before I have time to ponder this, the ads for AT&T and buying flowers at the bottom of the web page cloud my thoughts.

I’m still looking.  I want to know more about the ‘invisible something’.

My Google results are getting odd and the next one I find quite interesting.  “Santa Claus Suit Sales are Up Demonstrating That Christmas Spirit is Recession Proof”  Of course this is sponsored by a costume company, but the picture in the add speaks much better than words.

Sorry, but I just never pictured Mrs. Claus looking like that.  And what happened to the cute little guy elves that build toys?  I know I’m stereotyping here, but I’m quite sure this elf has never touched a hammer.  Do we really need sexual connotations to sell Santa suits?  Christmas spirit?  Seriously?!

Maybe Google is not the place to look.  Maybe the Christmas spirit cannot be defined in words.  I think I’m going to keep turning Christmas upside-down, maybe even spin it, and see what flies out.  Is it possible that the Christmas spirit starts at Christmas because it’s about Christ’s birth?  Christ’s birth was the beginning of a great story, the greatest story, a story that is ongoing and very relevant to our lives.  So maybe that means the Christmas spirit is supposed to be a spirit that we have all of the time.  Maybe if we rename it to something without the word Christmas, but keep the word Christ in it, we can keep it year round without feeling like we’ve left the Christmas tree up all year long.

As I said yesterday, I started the 25 days of Christmas to showcase silly Christmas yard art, so let me not disappoint anyone.  Yes, here it is, finally the inspiration for this whole project.  The dead Santas.  No, it’s not a new band I’m starting, it’s photos of all the dead Santa inflatables that are sprinkled all over lawns in Frisco, and every other suburb.  Who ever thought giant inflatable versions of the commercialized Christmas figures was a good idea?  If these represent the spirit of Christmas, that explains why we can’t find it.  At night it’s filled with a lot of air, sometime during the evening or early morning it falls to its routine death and stays deflated all day long.  Kids will need therapy after seeing dead Christmas stuff everywhere.  Maybe this is good.  As my friend Lin says, start the kids therapy fund, then they’ll be well adjusted enough to pay for their own college expenses.

The dead Santa collection…

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