The list's are being created and the bombardment of commercials has begun. In my mind not so long ago when you mentioned a day with a descriptor of "Black" in front of it, well, it wasn't taken as a good thing. What a trap we have all fallen into as it relates to the holiday season.
Stress, expectations, disappointments all seem to be heightened this time of year. Decorations, meals, family gatherings all compound feelings that we expect to be good and wonderful but by the time everything rolls around we are too exhausted to appreciate anything about the holiday.
I'm sitting here thinking about simplicity. Several thoughts have come to mind but one memory of Christmas several years ago overshadows them all. There have been years we have spent way too much on presents and we probably aren't the only ones that have made that error. One year Mom and Dad ask for something different and small of cost. That present really brings back good memories for me.
I'm sharing this because it takes a little planning and action now to reap the good memories we have now of that present. Back before the digital age we decided there was nothing we really needed. You know how the kids always ask, "What do you want for Christmas?" And we struggle to come up with SOMETHING that we really need. Our list was simple one year. On Thanksgiving evening we gave each of our kids a disposable camera wrapped as a present plus the money to have the pictures developed. (told you it was quite a few years ago.) We ask each of the kids to use the camera and take pictures of their favorite things. Then on Christmas morning for each of them to show all of us their pictures and explain why those things mean so much to them.
That Christmas morning Mom and Dad got a real Christmas present. Simple but meant so much to us.