Has Christmas indeed become commercialized & all about the stuff? Perhaps. And even if it has, I still like Christmas.
My minimalist philosophy is, "Don't own stuff you don't like," and some people really, really, really like Christmas stuff. If you do, go all out! However, that doesn't mean that everyone shares those feelings & just because others don't, we aren't being Scrooges. I will appreciate your Christmas efforts from slightly afar.
I'll admit it. I like twinkle lights. But some people really, really, really like twinkle lights.
Na. It's Christmas!!!
I own two basic Christmas things. In college, I bought a pre-lit tree about 3 feet tall. This year, my parents adopted it to use instead of their 7 foot tree since they're not hosting Christmas. Good call!
On the flip side, one of my Grandma's friends really, really, really liked Christmas trees & had one for angel ornaments, one for Santa ornaments, one for shiny stuff, & one to hold the presents underneath. It did look cool. I'll favorably remember her trees.
The other Christmas essential that EVERYONE really needs to properly embrace the feelings, spirit & sentiment of the season is the Ugly Sweater. I purchased mine for $1 last year at a second-hand shop and never got to wear it since the intended party was canceled, but did try to wear it to work as a joke. FAIL. I received many a sincere compliment from co-workers who considered it highly acceptable Christmas gear. However, my roommate borrowed it for a different party & won 1st prize for Ugly.
And here are a few other Christmas things I appreciate, though typically from afar-
Picture from here. That's some talent!
(I didn't make these particular cookies) My mom & I went to a class at our local health food store on "Fabulous Holiday Cookies" and that was fun! There's something magical about combining flour, sugar & butter. If I can track down an 8" cake pan, there's a shortbread recipe I want to try. We also tried several cookies that were SO delicious, you only want one.
My grandparents started this tradition (I think?), then my mom got one & I believe my sister has one too. Gumdrops get a bit flavor-fully repetitive after eating about three, but if this Christmas tradition makes an appearance, I certainly don't mind.
My Church's Light Show-
This really is something incredible. The side of the building facing the parking lot comes alive with thousands & thousands of lights (the mega-star on top has 10,000+) that move in sync to the LIVE MUSICIANS features in each of the windows. The viewers stay in their cars for the 15 minute show and tune to a radio station to hear the music. It's a huge production with tons of volunteers & hundreds of hours of work, and the end result is quickly becoming one of my favorite parts of the holiday season.
Christmas Music In Small Doses-
My roommate & I threw a party on Wednesday and as we were setting up, I put on some Christmas music. That lasted about an hour. For the actual party, we rocked out to the best of today's hits & random Gen X favorites through grooveshark.com.
It is after all the celebration of the birth of our Savior. The season is about Love, Hope, Peace, & Joy since that's what He brought. And whether or not you're religiously inclined, it's still a nice time to reflect on meaningful intangibles like those that we all strive for in our lives.
Merry Christmas y'all!