This year I told my husband that, as a Christmas gift, I wanted a less stingy budget to buy Christmas decorations.
I have always loved having the house decorated for Christmas, but I have always felt guilty for spending money of pieces, and I hate DIY projects! (I know, what kind of blogger am I??) Unfortunately, if you're working with a Dollar Tree budget and you don't want to get crafty, you're not going to get very far!
This has bummed me out every year. All of my grand plans for having a magical winter wonderland in my home for the season dwindle and fade into boredom with the Dollar Tree ornaments I bought last year that leave red glitter all over my carpet. So I go out to the Dollar Tree again and buy more junk, hoping it will be more exciting that last year's junk, only to feel guilty for spending money, and disappointed with my pathetic attempts at holiday magic.
But this year I decided to do something different. Christmas decorations bring me joy! The Christmas season is something magical and wonderful to me! But the past few years - or, , the years let's face it, since I've been a grown, adult woman - Christmas has seemed like a drag.
I feel pressured to do everything "the cheap way." I feel pressured to buy decorations at the Dollar Store because "It's a great way to save money! It'll look the same as the expensive stuff!" I feel pressured to make DIY decorations because that's the fashion these days. But I don't like doing any of these things! Why was I ruining it for myself?
And that's the truth of it, you guys. I was ruining it for myself! I somehow forgot that I don't have to set these limits for myself! I was trying to do what I thought I was supposed to do, and it was frustrating, and also distracting me from what I like to do.
Yet again, I was letting myself feel guilty for no good reason. Why do we do that to ourselves? I could feel myself slipping into what I always thought was the "sad adult version of Christmas" - complaining about the stress, and feeling no particular joy for the season. That was my fault. I felt no joy because I wasn't making any space for things I take joy in!
So I paused for a while to consider what makes Christmas feel special to me, and decorations were towards the top of the list, along with music! And I decided that this year I was going to actually decorate my house for Christmas, and be proud of it!
I can happily say that when I walk into my house, I feel a rush of joy seeing all of the Christmas decorations that I have purchased now! I bought beautiful pieces that require virtually no creativity, and were still reasonably priced. We purchased a new Pre-Lit Christmas tree, on sale (oh my goodness, I never ever want to string lights on a Christmas tree again!)
And I'm sitting here, right now, basking in the soft, twinkling glow of Christmas lights in my living room, writing this piece to you! And my hope is that this remind you to make some space for the things that bring you joy this season. Maybe you've never really loved Christmas like I do, but I know you find joy in something! I hope you take some time to consider what that thing is, and make that thing happen! You are surprisingly powerful, and in more control of your life than you realize.
Do you know what that thing is for you? That thing that brings you joy? I would love to hear about it! Please share it in the comments!