Sunday, December 29, 2019

Simply Christmas

Hey. Remember Christmas? I know, right? Time is always a bit nebulous at the end of December but since the new year hasn't rolled in yet I'm going to go ahead and talk about our holiday.

I've always been a big baby about Christmas. I also have grown children living on the other side of the world so I'm learning how to let go of a few bells and whistles while holding on to the real meaning of the season.

I do love some bells and whistles at Christmastime, but knew I'd need a different strategy this year.

This year there were no little girls in the house. Or big girls. Or grandsons, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins. This year Daughter2 boarded a plane for South Korea to spend Christmas with her sister, meet her new nephew, and relish the role of aunt to the cutest little mancubs we know.

Instead of feeling blue about our quiet house I felt so much tenderness in my heart for these girls who have loved each other so well since the day they met. Girls who are sisters, kindred spirits, the best of friends, one another's listening ear...

And you know what? It was enough. A friend shared a little saying on her Facebook page earlier this month and I really took it to heart. It was this-

 'The first Christmas was simple. Mine can be too.' 

I know how to complicate things but this year I just said no. No to overdoing the baking and the buying and the everything and yes to simply Christmas.

Hubs decided he wasn't going to put up outdoor lights and he didn't (there is a lighted wreath but that's him showing restraint). And I decided not to haul my snow village out of the attic because as much as I enjoy seeing it all lit up this time of year the set up (and take down) is such a chore.

We did put up a tree because sitting in front of the tree in the early morning quiet darkness is perhaps my favorite thing.

And because we're not always the best at going small, we also put a tree on the screened in porch.
And a small one on the bar top downstairs, but I drew the line at a third big tree like we normally have.

See I can do small.
And I can like it.

We hung all the stockings and hubs drove to Tennessee and brought his mama here to spend the week with us. We downsized long held traditions keeping just enough to make us feel the way we love to feel this time of year.

There were new memories made, new traditions we'll perhaps carry forward into future Christmas celebrations. Neighbors joined us for a wonderful Christmas Eve dinner and I found a small ham to glaze for Christmas Day. There were cookies baked, cards sent and a few presents under the tree.

There was dock diving and FaceTiming with our people and a boat ride Christmas Day.

The weather y'all! Fantastic!

There was a stroll through tiny town to see the lights and a happpy text from big little girls in their pjs half a world away.

There were grandsons in matching pjs too-

And memories pulled out and dusted off-

There was light and peace and hope and love-

Because one long ago night Christmas simply came-

"For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord." Luke 2:11


  1. Your simply Christmas sounds like the perfect Christmas for you. Even ours here with son and family was a bit down-keyed from years past. When Christmas is simply about Christmas, then adjustments are fine, aren't they. What a joy for you to know your girls were together loving on those precious little boys. And sometimes, that is simply enough.

  2. What a lovely 'simple' Christmas you had! And how great that D2 got to travel across the world to spend the holiday with D1 and her boys! Our Christmases have been simple for quite a few years now. We did have a great December with visits from family we haven't seen in several years! December has been good (except for these colds we caught and can't shake). On to 2020 and new blessings!!

  3. Joyce, you have handled this past year of big adjustments with such grace and it is so inspiring. And, what a great attitude about Christmas, so glad you could see the blessings and enjoy and it. I just delight seeing your daughters together and those boys. Oh, my, just precious! May 2020 hold God's richest for you and yours!

  4. So great the girls were together. Simple is my mantra lately. And like I always say to my girls as we work our way through these holidays without a home base in Michigan, different doesn’t have to be bad - it’s just different.

  5. What a wonderful Christmas! Your two babies in pjs! Your family about you!

  6. Beautiful post Joyce. Simple can be beautiful. I love the picture of your daughters and the boys. How wonderful that they could be together for Christmas. ((Hugs)) Happy New Year!
    I went simple with decorations because of our little someone who would be wondering through the house. Many things were not put out this year and everything within his reach he could play with. We only got a few pictures but my heart is full with memories.

  7. I’ve been in awe this year reading of your “life changes”. You’ve handled all of it with such strength and one day y’all will look back on this yr and be proud of the way you’ve handled it. You do what you have to just do! That’s our job as moms & dads.
    My youngest sons family moved into our home last July while they build their forever home and hubs and I have moved to our lakehouse. (It was only supposed to take a few’s been 5 months and they only got roof on last week ...). Being away from my home at Xmas has been tough. Plus my middle son was in hospital for a month in sept and my first daughter in law has been in and out of hospital for 2 months. I lost my BFF poodle of 19 yrs during all of this. It’s been crap. All of it but we’ve dealt with it in best possible way. I have learned that our health is MOST important thing in life.
    I so feel you pain in dealing with stuff at Christmas time. But just think what we are teaching our kids how to deal with life that is troubled...your girls are learning how to be tough and “just do it” by watching y’all do it!!!
    Happy New Year!!!

  8. A beautiful post, Joyce...and you're right, simple Christmases really can be the best. Love seeing those two precious babe's in their jammies! Happy New Year!

  9. I'm sure you must have missed your girls and extended family but you made the best of things as you always do and remembered what it's really all about. Good job done! Happy New Year.

  10. A late comment on your beautiful post: Christmas must have seemed a little odd with both of your daughters together on the opposite side of the globe. But as is your way, you have made the best of it. The pictures are great of everybody.

    Wishing you a most Happy New Year!

  11. Christmas was simple at my house too!