Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Real vs. Artificial [Guest Post from Just Jules]

The last guest blogger is Jules from the blog Just Jules.  A great blogger and she has become a good friend.  She has made an appearance on the podcast and I have made an appearance on her blog.  Her post is great and I hope you enjoy.  Make sure you go over and visit her blog.  

Can't wait for that day off coming tomorrow!



Real vs. Artifical

Real vs Artificial? I was asked this question in an e-mail last week. I know that the sender was referring to Christmas trees. The answer was easy. We always have a real tree, no question there. In fact, most year we have two trees... However, this week I have been thinking about that question differently.

Real vs Artificial what kind of Christmas do I want to have this year? The last few years feel like they have been artificial Christmases. It seems that I have just been going through the motions; making sure we were where we should be when we should be, with the gifts we should bring. I have been making sure the kids are dressed nicely and are behaving. I have been smiling and laughing at the right times and ignoring what would otherwise drive me over the edge on any other day. Gifts have been open, thank yous have been exchanged, and meals have been eaten. But, has any of it been real? Have I enjoyed any of it?

Now before you start thinking that I am a scrooge let me just point out that my husband and I favored the holiday so much we were married at Christmastime 11 years ago! I used to be so crazy about Christmas that I would start counting down the days right after my birthday in July! However, lately, things have not been the same.

So, why? Part of it I believe is that we now have 4 beautiful bright eyed children who ARE so excited for Christmas. Not that the children are a problem - the problem is that when you are the one that needs to make the season wonderful it loses some of it's wonder for you. I could compare it to cooking all day for Thanksgiving. By the time you eat the food you have worked so hard on you are no longer hungry. This is how Christmas has been for me.

Now what? Now, I try to make Christmas this year real. I want to really enjoy this holiday. My children are getting older and are requiring less hands on attention. So, I am trying to make a point to remember the real reason for the season. This is Christ's birthday - his day. Not Target's day (goodness knows they rake in enough this time of year!) I am going to follow my kid's lead. Enjoy the wonder through their eyes. This is a time for family, friends, and feeling warm and safe. A time of good food and good times. I am hoping to search out the meaningful times this year and enjoy them. I am not going to ignore conflict until it hurts but I am not going to seek it out either. I want this year to be different, I want this year to be real - not artificial.


Just Jules said...

Thank you so much for re-running this post. This was the second or third post I ever wrote. It is one of the few things I wrote that I truly like. As much as I enjoy having your words on my page it is twice as thrilling to see my words on you.... I mean your page.

Although..... I bet, if I were to take a sharpie and start penning words on your bod that would make me happy too ;)

Laura said...

A lot said there Jules and I hope you can accomplish it. I guess I never really thought about but it has been the same for me... you work so hard for the birthday party, the summer vacation and Christmas but was it fun once it got there.. I am going to make sure I have fun too.. and remember the season. Thanks I needed that..

Your comment is great and if any writing occurs I think he should take a picture.

ashley said...

Awesome post, Jules! Sometimes you just need to breathe during the holidays. I can imagine it's only harder once you have children! (Also, so much more fun! Ah! Can't wait!)

Oh & P.S. I'm definitely all for ARTIFICIAL trees. Real trees shed those stupid pine needles everywhere, my dog pees on them, & they're way too much trouble! I can't even keep a small plant alive, much less a 7ft tree.

Barb said...

I really love this post, Jules. We parents need a reminder sometimes to take a breath and remember to enjoy ourselves. I'm usually so stressed to make sure the kids get at least one thing they want, and that they have fun, and that everyone is happy. But I need to enjoy the season too! Thanks for reminding me.

Homer and Queen said...

I put up 12 trees, 1 real, 11 srtificial. I always loved Christmas, now it is just too much work!

Anonymous said...

What a great post. Very sweet. I loved the analogy.

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

Ummmm I put up like 1 tree and it's artificial AND i stick a pine smelling candle behind it! The spirit of Christmas is what I love, the feeling of giving and sharing...that is my favorite part of Christmas. The actual day of or night before is for the kids, but the spirit of it... the Birth of our Savior and the feeling of kindness is why i love Christmas

Big Blue House said...

Christmas is my favorite time of the year. It always was. The past few years, I have let it be a hastle for me and not take things as they come but not this year. I plan to enjoy it as much as I can. My children are all grown up but I have my 7 beautiful grandchildren to see Christmas through their eyes, and it is a "wonder" and "delight" when viewing it through them and with them. It makes me long for the time when my children were young, only so I can see Christmas through their eyes again, to see if I see anything different this time. I still let myself get stressed out because I want to get everyone 'just the right gift'. I want them to be happy and remember the Christmas' we have had together with a good feeling after we are gone. O.K. that was a sad thought. On to happier things. Christmas Carols make my heart sing and thinking about how each of my children and grandchildren are going to react when they open their gifts from us does also. I take a lot of time with what to buy for each one so I am always looking for the smile and excitement as they say, "This is what I always wanted". (I hope) Take one day at a time and thourghly enjoy it. You don't get all that many. You are in charge of what your days will be like. You can choose to enjoy or be miserable. I choose JOY.

Just Jules said...

Thanks to everyone for reading today and commenting. Another thanks to Adam for being crazy busy at work so that he needed us to post for him the last few days. I hope I can find a way to even enjoy moments... if not days of this season.


MagnificentDebra said...

I'm believing for you Jules! You will find the joy and peace He came here to give. Blessings friend.

Kasey said...

Jules, thanks so much for your post. This time of year gets very stressful for many people and for various reasons. It is so important to be reminded that it is NOT a competition: to attend the most parties, or have the biggest tree or the best dressed kids. Relax, and enjoy.

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TheEclecticElement said...

This is a beautiful post and I think it should be one of those other bloggers use as reference! Because it's so true! Not to mention all the grammatical wonderment held within Lol Thanks for having Jules on! And thank you Jules for sharing this post with us :)