Friday, December 5, 2014

The StrUGGLE and then, oh yeah, Christmas

Anyone else having a hard time simplifying the holidays? If you're needing a normal person's simplified Christmas, check out these posts:

Easier Holidays 
Little Tree Love

For those who find yourselves in a more desperate place this year, I'm with you. How does Christmas look when you're under the weather and it's not a week long deal? I'm not trying to put my adrenal fatigue in a league with more serious sicknesses, or even my friend's hip repair surgery, but I've never seen anyone talk about this, so I thought I might as well. Since I'm in the business of learning how to live mercifully, what mercy can be afforded those who're limping along, trying to find energy to go get groceries, let alone unique, personally thoughtful gifts for the many people they love? 

Maybe this is why gift cards were invented? Also Shutterfly Christmas cards. And premade Chex mix. I know this is radical from a person who enjoys designing my Christmas letter's stationary and loves a pom-pom garland more than most. I do. I want everything to be fresh and beautiful, but the most beautiful thing I've known lately was a precious morning off, when I dropped the kids at school and crawled back in bed. I knew nothing but dreams until one o'clock when my husband came home for lunch, worried because I wasn't answering my phone. I could've gotten a lot of shopping and wrapping done in those five hours, but it wasn't possible. Or smart. Or merciful. 

There'll be no letter writing. I'll put photos on a Shutterfly card and print our envelopes (if I can figure that out). Rather than texting and finding out what my extended family want for Christmas, I'll be getting gift cards from Target for the kiddos. All at once, when I'm there for the groceries anyway. I'll probably still wrap them in little boxes.

I debated skipping the tree too. I don't know when my husband will have time to set it up, even if I buy it and bring it home one day. Part of adrenal fatigue is being cold and struggling to warm up. I wear my puffer coat a lot (even when it's 40 degrees) and warm up with an electric blanket before heading to bed. Otherwise I wait a long hour before I warm up enough to fall asleep. This makes the task of being in the outside part of Menards mortifying. If I had a magic Christmas wand, I'd wave it and wake up to a piney smelling, twinkling little tree in the living room. The jury's still out, but I'm pretty determined since I get a lot of joy from seeing it around and I think the kids do too. 

Caroling sounds like a personal, frozen version of hell. Outreach makes my eyes glaze over. Maybe that's just the twenty minutes of crying I did this morning. Sometimes it just has to come out. I don't know where this Christmas season has found you. Ready or not, it comes and we can be glad if we let it be Jesus and peace and the joy that's born when someone shows you mercy. Let's let the heightened demands and people who still think they're essential be, and by that I mean let them be everywhere but in our heads. We don't need those voices to get us moving. Let's buy some gift cards and let there be peace on our patch of earth.  

I love you guys!

P.S. My husband and kids brought me a tree. He set it up before heading out for a meeting and the kids and I decorated it. It was amazing. The piney, twinkles are here and it feels like Christmas has arrived. See?


  1. Dear Kendra, I so enjoyed reading the 4 posts linked at the top as well as this current post. You have such a way of cutting through to what is essential and of being real - which lets us be real with ourselves. Your creative mind is a blessing you share with us, your readers.

    There have been years I haven't sent cards or letters, after at least twelve consecutive years of a printed letter, with hand written notes squeezed along the edges of those. I suggested to my sister today that we send one in January, letting the far-away folks we communicate with yearly (or less) know that our father (nearly 96) moved into a special memory unit assisted living this year. And is doing fantastic. He is a bright light of pure love to all he meets. Kendra, so glad about your husband surprising you with the tree and you and the children being able to enjoy trimming it together. It is lovely. As was the one in the photo of your living room in that previous post. You referred to that tree as spazzy - - I'm sure that was a typo, and you meant snazzy, right? Much love to you, as you continue to bestow TLC on yourself. ~ Dena

    1. I'm so happy to hear your father's doing well! My grandmother had Alzheimer's and it's wonderful when they can find some equilibrium and peace. Your comments mean so much to me. Thank you, thank you!