Plotting Christmas

Milly’s cactus bloomed early! Is it a sign?


This week felt like a major strategy session. The mission is the taming Milly’s Chaotic Crazy Christmas Traditions. I spent most of the year ignoring the Big “C.” Then after my Blackened Friday, I decided some decisions had to be made. My first reaction was to pull out  my ‘Nuclear Option:’ Skip Christmas 2016 altogether.

Here was Milly Scrooge in all her glory. Bah! Humbug! Tired, overwhelmed and cranky I was ready to throw in the towel. There is only so much a woman can do before she either says I quit or I change. So what does a Milly Girl do when faced with a bad attitude? She turns to her higher power. I do this by opening the dialogue with the Holy Trinity. I begin to pray to the Holy Father, Jesus Christ, and Holy Spirit. Since Sunday I have been discussing the situation with God. I started with the early morning Sunday mass.

Last weekend I sat in mass quieting myself. My habit is to let the cadence of the mass wash over me while I make myself aware of the presence of the Holy Spirit. I feel the presence rest on my shoulders almost like a friend’s comforting arm. I ask what do I do about Christmas. A thought whispers through my brain. Kind of like what my mother will say when I’m trying to figure out something on my own. What do you want to do? The thought barely echoes. My head screams No More! No Christmas! Stop the Craziness! I can’t hear my heart. The readings start. I always love the scriptures. I whisper back, “I’ll have to get back to you on that one.”

Funny thing about God whispers. They never really leave you. I found myself thinking about what I truly wanted from Advent and Christmas. I wrote some about it over the last week so I knew I had the bare bones of what I wanted:

  • Christmas Mass and a family dinner

I also knew what I didn’t want:

  • All the craziness Christmas has become in Milly’s Realm. I didn’t want all the materialism and activity.

Slowly over the week I pieced together what might work. Here’s what I came up with:

  • Extreme Downsizing: No gifts. No decorations. Just dinner and Church.
  • Decluttering Christmas: Give the people on your list items you already own that they want or give of your time (Hint: Milly really wants the Kitchen Reno done! I’ll take anyone’s time with a paint brush or tile work for my gift!).
  • Cheapskates Delight: All gifts must be $5 or less. Regifting is expected and encouraged (We did this last year. It was hilarious!).
  • Secret Santa: One gift to buy for this side of the family. Better make it a good one!

After I put my list together I shared it with my boys for their input. Milly’s Realm really does operate on a teamwork approach. Of course that’s only until a decision has to be made.

My husband said I could do whatever I wanted. He was on board. Youngest son voted for the Extreme Downsizing. He said he didn’t have a job yet and that way he didn’t have to spend money (of course I’d love to put a paint brush in his hand!).

All Day Friday, I felt I was missing something. Much of the angst and emotion had settled. Peace began to fill my spirit. Again the thought whispered: What do you want to do? I finally figured out what my heart and soul wanted. It wants all my Christmases to be different. Past Christmases were not bad, just different. I enjoyed them. I loved the excitement on my children’s faces. I loved the wonder and magic in their eyes. I was blessed take part in making the magic happen for them. They have changed. They are no longer children. I have changed. Therefore my Christmases will change.

Yesterday my eldest son and his Lady Love sat with me (my future daughter-in-law is fantastic by the way). He wanted the Decluttering Christmas. He could save money (since they are just beginning their lives together) and bless his family at the same time. All the pieces fell into place. We will have our beautiful peaceful Christmas. We will set a new relaxed tradition for celebrating the birth of our Lord.


This year we will not decorate much due to the renovations. I plan to attend early morning Christmas Mass. Anyone is welcome to join me if they want. The new tradition will be a wonderful meal (we are planning a Steak Dinner! Yum!), blessing, fun, family, and yes gifting. But most importantly we will give thanks for the Gift of our savior.

May your heart be filled with peace,


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