Since I shared a little about our plans to be simple, intentional, and minimal this Christmas I wanted to take a moment and be real with you about how that went for us.
Much like when we downsized from the house we owned in Iowa to the rental house we live in now (in Texas)--this scaling had it’s moments. From the long term, big picture view it was so so so right and good for our family to be minimal and sacrificial this Christmas.
It was not the most fun. Our kids each got two small gifts and a stocking filled mostly with practical things like socks, toothpaste/ brushes, and their own personal little notepad. Like I said, now that it’s over I’m glad we did it this way. I know it was right for us this year. There’s a myriad of reasons why scaling back is the most wise thing for us. I’m proud that we actually stuck to our guns and didn’t splurge. I cannot even describe how great it feels to have no regrets. Our time with both our families over the next few days was wonderful and packed with memories. Our kids were showered with gifts from both sides of the family, so they definitely didn’t come out feeling scaled back as far as toys go. All in all it was a great Christmas.
But it didn’t exactly look “magical” under our tree and it wasn’t a morning filled with fun new stuff for me and Austin. That part was a little anticlimactic if I’m being honest.
I was surprised at how not fun it felt, considering how wise I knew the decision was for us.
I think--uh uhh..no I know that social media makes it seem like all these things out there are shiny and beautiful and magical. Maybe even my own blog makes these hard things seem warm and fuzzy and intentional and deep. When really...it felt anticlimactic. It felt like….come on don’t I get a little reward for this? Where’s my cookie?
Feelings are straight up deceitful. If our motivation had been the feeling of Christmas morning, we would have caved and bought a bunch of toys that we would have later seen as the junk that majorly threw off the month’s budget. And even the feelings after, they had the power to wreck our joy. At any moment I could so easily let my heart get all wonky and pine for temporal things and miss out on the joy that comes when you fight to be grateful.
We left the holiday season victorious in keeping to the goals we set, and it is good. But it wasn’t as pretty as the RISE Instagram filter made it seem. Sometimes good decisions are simply their own reward.