Like it or not, December is here, and whatever you think about shops which start selling Christmas stuff in August, by now I’m sure that most of you will be starting the countdown.

In our house the whole Christmas thing is complicated by the fact that both my husband’s and son’s birthdays are in the first week of December. So our family tradition is that nothing Christmassy is seen or heard in our house until both birthdays have been duly celebrated.

So having entertained 15 small boys to a football party yesterday afternoon, and eaten cake and junk food several times over the past week, I can now declare that Christmas season in the O’Connor household is officially open!

For some of you I know that Christmas is the busiest time of year for your business and I’m sure you are all going to be chasing your tails until last posting day. Thankfully with me, things tend to go a little bit quiet between now and January 1st (I can’t think why?), and the recent spell of bad weather has increased the drop out rate still further. So that at least is one less thing for me to stress about.

However in common with many of you, I have got the endless round of children’s performances and parties to attend, arrange and schedule in. Now that they are both at school and both do performance-related activities, this can seem never-ending. Then of course there is the present buying and making arrangements for the festivities themselves. On top of that I have a few parties to attend myself and also my singing commitments. The whole thing starts to get a little bit mad – I’m sure I’m not the only one who gets a bit stressed.

We are churchgoers in our family, and I do feel a need at this time of year to set aside a little time for peace and contemplation. It helps me to get through the rest of the madness with my sanity intact. I’m not going to go all preachy and say that the commercial Christmas should be scaled down or banned – I’m in favour of presents, feasting and merriment just the same as the next person – but I do my best to carve out a place for the peaceful gentle side of Christmas in amongst the total mayhem.

In our house, it starts with a giant nativity set. I’m lucky to have a big bay window in my house and I decorate it in a very traditional way for all my neighbours to see. This is the only decoration that will be in our house till the weekend before Christmas, after which anything goes……

 

So I’ve spent this morning clearing and cleaning the window area. I put on my CD of Christmas Carols, taped up the fairy lights, dusted down Mary and Joseph and all the stable visitors, and arranged them in place. This is a job I always do alone – I let the children help with the tree and decorating the rest of the house, but this is my personal nod to the spiritual side of Christmas. I feel calmer already, and ready to face the season.

What Christmas traditions do you have in your house? Do they bring you peace and joy?

 

I wrote this blog a few years ago and posted it on Motivating Mum.  My children are a few years older now, but the sentiment still persists.  The nativity set will be going up any tme soon, and I will be looking for little pockets of quiet and tranquility this month. How about you?