Every year I say I'm going to keep my Christmas gifts simple. Handmade. I say I won't let myself get stressed out about buying useless things people don't need, since no one in my family really needs anything at all. Each year it is a struggle to let it go, but each year I give in to myself a little more and stop worrying what people think. Will Christmas be a disappointment to everyone if I don't buy a bunch of STUFF? The answer, as much as America would like you and me to believe otherwise, is no.
Since we're not out shopping and making ourselves crazy, our family is finally having time this year to do a real advent calendar -- something I've been wanting to do for a few years.
Each day we do something Christmas-y, fun, together, productive, festive. Sometimes its as simple as cutting the kids' toast into little snowmen shapes. On Friday, we went to Storybook Lane, a very sweet, old-fashioned, magical holiday destination without any of the commercialism and donned with the very best Santa you'll find in Portland. It captured just what I'm looking for this season.