The mister is visiting his little sister in Hawaii right now as she graduates from university this week. In his absence we've likely overbooked ourselves with fun (busy) activities to keep everyone from missing him too badly. Of course since it is the Christmas season, most of our activities have been christmas parties, but yesterday we celebrated an early solstice with the girls' (waldorf inspired) daycare.
This year, as I've been slowly decluttering our (relatively small) home, to make space for one more (albeit still tiny) human, I've almost been dreading Christmas and all the stuff it typically entails. Little M is not yet quite at the point of totally grasping the concepts of limited space, of too many toys, or of the impact of clutter. She's slowly getting used to how we are trying to stick to the concept of one in, one out, and she has gone through her toys and chosen some to give away to make room for new toys to come at Christmas. But she is still young, and still has a hard time parting with things, and understanding that there is a limit.
The baby on the other hand is quite easy going about my efforts to reduce the size of her wardrobe and the number of baby toys she owns. She still has more than enough baby toys, but we were able to pare down quite a bit, which was really great. In fact I have 3 boxes of kid clothes and toys to give away, if I ever get around to bringing them into town to donate!
As most people do, I get attached to things, but after several long distant moves, and many short moves, I don't have a lot of things compared to many people. Something about moving out west in your truck with your dog and another person, and having basically all your worldly possessions in the truck does that to a person! I don't like clutter, and all the time drain that having lots of possessions means, so I've tried to be pretty selective about what I bring into the house. As are most things though, it is a constant work in process, and I'm still adapting to the new level of complication that having 2 kiddos brings to the de-cluttering & simplification process!
Anyway, all of this is to say that at the (early) solstice celebration, I was really in love with the simplicity and connectedness of the celebration. Celebrating the shortest day of the year with friends and light rings much more true to my non-religious background than all of the consumerism and focus on stuff that American Christmas seems to entail. Especially for our family, with 3 sets of grandparents, and 2 in-state Christmases to attend besides our own family of fours' Christmas, it just seems that we focus too much on gifts and stuff, and there is less emphasis placed on the importance of spending time with these special people that we see so rarely.