Getting Back to Routine, Preparing for Christmas

Festival of LightsMy father finally got home from the hospital this week and my life is returning to a more regular routine.  I will go there after music lessons today and we will have dinner and visit and I will spend the night and we will go to church in the morning, then I will return home.  The routine of this seems oh so comforting after the last month of daily hospital visits and no time to fit things like laundry and piano practice into my schedule.  I am so grateful he has pulled through this crisis and can be home again.
I made it through my last big budget meeting at work, cleaned our apartment from top to bottom and hosted my No Hat’s Ladies party last night.  Phew!  Now life can start to get back to my regular routine.
Christmas!  I only have a couple of gifts left to buy and the parcels to go to BC to get ready this weekend.  We are having a very scaled back Christmas this year and I am really starting to enjoy it.  It started with lack of space to store Christmas decorations in this small apartment.  I had so many!  I had gave away about half of them before the move to Winnipeg.  I used to buy some every year.  Now I wonder why???  I sorted through the ones here and for tree ornaments only kept a few vintage family glass globes I grew up with, a few goose eggs ornaments I collected in Churchill and enough mini ornaments for the 3 foot tree we are using. I even had enough of those to decorate three of those little trees!  A box of mini ornaments went off to BC for my son and grand daughter to enjoy as they spend their first Christmas together.  I also kept two musical Christmas globes, a polar bear nativity, a couple of table runners, candle holders and a mistletoe ball.  All else went.  I had a huge Rubbermaid tote heaping with stuff I took down to the give away table here.
The decorations are up and less really looks quite good!  The most important thing that happened through this process was the feeling it gave me.  I feel less burdened about Christmas.  There is less work to decorate and will be less work to put it all away after the holidays as well.
I knew I would have to cut back on how much money we spent on gifts this year and set a limit of between 10.00 and 50.00 for gifts.  Another burden lifting experience!  I started shopping in September buying one gift a pay period more or less.  I only have to buy my Dad’s gift next pay day and I am done.  Wow!  No hours of shopping in miserable over crowded stores, no real stress.  And NO DEBT that will take us till July to pay off.
I am feeling very focussed on Christmas as a time of reflecting on life, family, spirituality and enjoying things like the annual Christmas Tree Contest which is moved back downtown to the lobby of the new Manitoba Hydro building.  I am really looking forward to taking my camera there for a few hours.  They also have many fairy tale displays set up in homage to the old Eaton’s window displays.  Brings back lots of great childhood memories.
As Advent starts tomorrow, and the first candle is lit on the wreath at church, I move to this season in a better frame of mind that I have been for a long time.  I am grateful!
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