Review: Loving My Actual Christmas by Alexandra Kuykendall: AVAILABLE TOMORROW!

I’ve slowly been making my way through this book. Technically, I should have had the entire book read by now, but life kind of gets in the way. You know what I mean?

Today I was reading about peace. Peace amidst all the chaos around Christmas. All the traditions we’re trying to keep up or the meals we’re trying to make or getting just that one thing right or realizing that yes, indeed, they are gone and so we don’t need to buy presents for them anymore.

In my house, we haven’t started a lot of traditions, but one came to an end last year. It was the last time we gathered at Grandma’s house. You see, recently, she sold her house that she lived in for 50-some odd years. The house they bought for $501. The house they moved to the spot it never left. The house they raised their kids in. The house we’ve celebrated Christmas on Christmas Day in for the entirety of my life. Now someone else lives there. And Grandma lives in a retirement community in her new apartment.

We made the extra effort last year to make sure we were there for the very last Christmas at that house. But this year? Who knows what it will look like. Who knows where we will go. Who knows what we will do.

It’s definitely a bittersweet moment, but fortunately, not one that turns the entire holiday upside down. My Christmas status quo is often ignoring the fact that Christmas is coming in some kind of attempt to never even generate the stress that comes with it. Add to the fact that my daughter was born 2 days after Christmas, I’ve almost revolted against Christmas for a couple years. We don’t do a lot of gifts. We don’t spend a lot of effort hiding presents. We don’t have just that right dish to make to make Christmas complete.

But what do I have than? I have a holiday we barely celebrate. I have stress from trying to figure out last minute presents or last minute plans with too many sides of the family.

You see, I still need to figure out balance here. I need to find peace in the actual holiday, in the celebrating, instead of trying to ignore all the things that aren’t just how I like it. I need to engage instead of ignore.

In a lot of ways, this book is really helping me to have a healthier view of Christmas, even as she shares her own version of crazy Christmas. I need to rethink how we do things and I need to do things differently, to be more intentional.

What about you? Where do you find peace in the craziness that is Christmas?

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