15 November 2013

added to the list. wait, hold the list.

Okay, I have something I want to add to the "list of things I do not do." I think. Maybe. Oh, I don't know!  Grr. You'll understand my angst as soon as you see the idea.

Elf on the shelf.

On one hand, it is the epitome of what I don't- should not- do.  We don't even really do Santa, for crying out loud!  I just saw a Pinterest pin of a friend, that boasted 20 IDEAS FOR ELF ON THE SHELF!! WITH A SHOPPING LIST AND A SPREADSHEET OF DAYS TO KEEP TRACK OF THE IDEAS SO YOU WILL HAVE EVERYTHING YOU NEED AND IT WILL BE SO FUN!!  Or something basically like that.  And seeing the hype (shopping list?! spreadsheet?!) it just made me so. tired.  The thing I know deep down in my soul is that I need less things in my life that require lists and spreadsheets, etc. Things that confuse my kids more about what to get excited about at Christmas.

But.  But. I love play and silliness and laughter and surprise.  And creativity! And special things that make memories.  And Elf on the Shelf has those things in spades.  Like, who doesn't want their kid to wake up in the morning and burst out laughing because the elf is riding in underwear suspended from a helium balloon, floating through the family room (thank you Pinterest for that visual, btw).

So I'm left clutching at compromises. Can I do some version of this?  Minus the "he's watching your behavior and reporting it to Santa" element?  Minus the "purchase the helium balloon before oldest child gets off school but after finishing the grocery shopping and baby's nap" stress?  I don't know.  No neat, easy answers here!  I'll be pondering this a day or two.  Because I have plenty of time, right?  Christmas is a loooong ways away. Right?

Stay tuned for a Christmas tradition that I AM ready for, and I love, and it's easy.  And in a perfect world it would save my children from attitudes of entitlement. And materialism. And the flu. And terrorists.  Okay, maybe not all that.  And it does involve me venturing into our spider-y basement and opening sketchy boxes.  (Shiver). But still, stay tuned for Christmas-y goodness!

01 November 2013


I've been trolling Pinterest again.  So fun!  And I pinned a few Christmas ideas.  So, sue me.  At least it's November!  And it's not like I'm wearing Christmas sweaters and belting out Amy Grant's first Christmas album.  Yet.  Not that I have a problem with anyone doing that.  I'm just not organized enough to have all that holiday stuff handy this week.

But as I was clicking away, I realized that my mind was shuffling the pins I saw into three categories: First, things I could do- and might want to do- very soon.  Like my classic favorite Pinterest example: glowsticks in the kids' bath at night.  Easy-peasy, cheap, and heavy on the fun & memorable quotient.  My next group of pins are the, "Maybe someday, not this week, could happen, it looks cool" group.  And last but not least is the category, "Never going to happen.  Realistic assessment says... nope." For me, building ANYTHING using wood acquired from pallets fits this category perfectly.

Now here is the thing.  I'm not jealous of anyone else's pins, especially the ones in the last category.  You built an indoor playhouse/ tree fort out of pallets and painted it to look like Cinderella's castle?  Cool!  More power to you!  And my response to the first category of pins is kind of gratitude.  Like, you have easy and meaningful activities that will make my hours between nap and dinner prep less... slow? Sign. me. up.

It's my inner response to the middle group of pins that became a little less subconscious tonight, that has me fascinated.  I realize now that when I see an idea that I know I COULD do, that might be fun and cool, but that I know I can't really (realistically) tackle right now- I tense up inside just a little.  There is a tension in evaluating whether I should do something now, or not.  SO... I think I would be capable of painting a sign that says, "Eat, Drink, Give Thanks." And I kinda want to. It would look great in our kitchen.  Or, I could make a few and sell them!  Yeah, like that Proverbs 31 woman, making and selling things to keep her family dressed in purple, or whatever!  But then I realize that I can't handle a big craft like that right now when I can't even handle my dishes, laundry, and clutter.  So I am a little disappointed and frustrated inside.  Therein lies the danger of Pinterest for me.  It's not in comparing myself with what other women can afford with their money, but what they can afford with their time, maybe? Or comparing myself with some hypothetical version of me that has more free time?  (Because- less kid time? Ouch.)

So I am going to tread- or click- more carefully.  I want to be conscious of this tension I'm creating, and work to have two mental categories: yes, and no.  No more "could/should" in the middle that stresses me out. And if I can't handle that, then a Pinterest fast, perhaps.

But not until I find all the cool free Christmas printables.