Let *stuff* go. The last of a series.

Jen Louden started a conversation over at her Comfort Cafe about simplifying the holidays. When I began reflecting on how I’ve done that, it turned out to be more than a quick forum reply. Plus, I think it’s a great question. So, this week on the blog, it’s all about…

How I restored magic to the holiday season. [part 6 of 6]

If you’re just joining us…
Magic-Restoration Step #1: Don’t pay attention to the count-down.
Magic-Restoration Step #2: It’s a season, not a day.
Magic-Restoration Step #3: Know your symbols and traditions.
Magic-Restoration Step #4: Just make stuff up.
Magic-Restoration Step #5: Let stuff go.

Let stuff go.

This brings us back to Magic-Restoration Step #1. In deciding how I wanted to honor the holiday and the season, in choosing which symbols and traditions had most meaning for me, I realized even more than I had before how little the material elements of the holiday mattered to me. I like presents – giving and receiving them. I like feast days – good company and good food belong together. But it doesn’t take an endless amount of either to satisfy me. Enough is enough.

I’ve long been a fan of exchanging experiences rather than goods. It’s the thing I like most about the Advent Conspiracy, which emphasizes relational giving – then doing something generous with the money you would have spent on stuff.

Magic-Restoration Step #6

In recent years, our Day has gotten smaller and smaller. Less travel. Fewer people. Fewer gifts. Less food. More quiet. Almost as though we’re distilling it down to its essence, its essentials. So, we don’t do and have much, but it is strong and saturated and therefore satisfying in its simplicity.

And because we haven’t crammed the season full of stuff and stuff, there is a spaciousness to the holiday,  there are openings for meaning and magic to enter.

I don’t really miss anything I’ve let go of. Which doesn’t mean I don’t have nostalgic memories of the days of more, the happy overwhelm of my childhood. But more stuff isn’t going to bring the magic of those days back.

I have to keep inventing and seeking and opening to new magic. And so do you.

In summary (the Twitter version):
There’s no rush. You’ve got a whole season. There are lots of ways to do this. Don’t do anything you don’t want to do. Enough is enough.

Happy Holidays.

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