Monday, December 5, 2011

Christmas Spirit

Have you ever started out the holiday season without feeling the holiday cheer? Some years I do this and just about the time I start to feel a panic of, 'Oh dear, where is the Christmas muse?', it finally hits. Then I feel like Santa's elf and enjoy the decorating, creating, baking and giving. But so far, the Christmas spirit hasn't arrived! The tree is up but the decorations are still in the boxes! I pulled out a few things and they are sitting in piles on the floor. I have a gift list completed but only 4 of them are purchased! Uh oh!
Maybe I need to watch "It's A Wonderful Life" or crank up the "It's A Charlie Brown Christmas" CD.

Am I the only one feeling like this?
How do you get in the holiday spirit?


  1. same here! trying to get some online shopping done this weekend, but feeling more stressed than anything. :(

  2. Aw, Christy! :(

    I'm not feeling stressed..just not in the mood! Hopefully it will hit me soon!

  3. Dear Betsy Im sure you are not the only one, Im not stressed but the Christmas sprit dont arrived still but Im sure will be arrived maybe the next week(lol) for you too:)

    Yesterday I made my first Christmas post and wasn´t easy believe me, maybe is like these things, you dont want walk but when you are walking you are happy:)

  4. I had a case of that, maybe I still do, but I think I'm making progress . . . on the mood . . . not on anything else. :) To use my fix, you might have to borrow a couple toddlers. :) I have a few easily available . . . We live in a smallish town, certainly no gorgeous downtown department stores . . . I always took my kids to the most beautifully decorated Christmas-y stores to select their yearly ornament . . . the kids are grown, but my daughter and I took her 2 1/2 year old daughter and 5 year old son a few days ago. We snacked on gorgeous petite fours, shyly visited Santa, had dinner at a sit-down restaurant, THEN after dark we went to THE gorgeous store. The little one looked around in wonder and gasped! The big boy took it all in, turned to us, and I believe he put her expression into words, "Do you think you believe what your eyes are seeing!?"
    I think my Christmas Spirit awakened at that very second . . .
    Merry Christmas, Betsy!


    Seriously . . . that always has been my tactic to jump start . . . go immerse yourself in something gorgeous! For fun!

  5. For while what you think about a cup of coffe??:)

  6. Gloria ~ yes, let's have coffee...and a slice of that orange poppy seed bread of yours. It's beautiful and sure to put me in the Christmas spirit! :)

  7. well, I have been there before but this year, since about halloween I have been in an xmas spirit adn have everythign purchased--all 5 gifts. lol. Im sure the muse will hit soon enough.

  8. Debbi ~ that's a great idea, too! Christmas through the eyes of a child is always magical!

  9. tree is up and decorated, but the weather def does not feel like winter or christmas...down to 3 presents left to get and T is out on a mission to get them...supposed to go to the christmas parade this evening...will see if that helps...

  10. I know that feeling...the thing that gets me going is to do for someone else, works every time for me. :D

  11. Thanks Betsy and still I dont decorated anything:)

  12. Gloria ~ you must be in the same mood as me! I need some cheer! ha.

  13. Love that sign Betsy...you special little nest!

    I think being retired and not having any children at home helps in getting my Christmas things up early this year. What really puts me into the mood....is all the Christmas Music I play all day long. Some the old traditional carols, and then the fun songs, like Rudolph and Jingle Bells.

    But my dear Betsy....you must admit you do MORE than the average bear!!!

    Sending love and hugs

  14. I'm so glad you said this because I'm the same way, I feel better now!

  15. I have just written a post about the same feelings...or lack of !
    Of course, our family has just been through a terrible loss, so it's not surprising, but I could very easily climb down a rabbit hole and forget the whole season.
    I'm going to dig out my DVD of a Child's Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas, and see it that won't help get me in the mood....

  16. Aw, I know you have, Jo. Losing someone in the family so close to the holidays is the worst. I hope you find some cheer in your heart and enjoy the season!

    I just feel sad..well, and tired. ha.

  17. laurie ~ come have coffee with Gloria and me. :)

  18. I have been there the past two years (last year I told my husband I was praying for an ice storm the day before Christmas). This year, the dread of the lack of Christmas spirit hit in October...so I got busy with a few project gifts for a couple of family members. The neat thing? I really got excited, pretty early too! I guess it was compartmentalizing(sp) it that helped, and since the gift too my focus off the dread, it made way for the joy.

    Hope your Christmas Joy returns very soon!

    Merry Christmas!!! (or may the force be with you(whichever is more appropriate ;) ))

  19. To be honest, I truly only get into the Christmas spirit on the last working day before the holidays! People tend to lighten up a little and there's a communal excitment palpable all round as we watch the working clock hit home time!

    Take care

  20. lailani ~ you crack me up. :)

  21. I buy my half a dozen presents and it's over with. Sometimes the spirit itself doesn't hit me until the 24th... if at all.

  22. uh oh, Silver...are you rubbing off on me? ;)

  23. I hope not, but you wouldn't be the first person I've corrupted.

  24. Corrupted Silver? I dont believe that of you, nope:)

  25. It all seems a little overwhelming at first ( I clearly remember from year to year just how much work the whole thing is). Once I "plunge in" and actually start working on things, I feel better and, I know that "somehow" all will get done when it needs to be.
    It will "hit" you soon, and cheer and goodwill will flood your heart!! Take care. Mickie :)

  26. Hi Betsy,
    Regarding the Elusive Christmas Spirit Muse and how to conjour her into your heart:

    Sometimes you have to give the 1st Christmas present to yourself.

    Sometimes you have to do that by determining how much you WANT to do versus how much you really NEED to do for this holiday season.

    Sometimes it's a matter of wants vs. needs.

    We all WANT our homes to look like a page in holiday catalogue...but that takes a whole lot of work. And some years my WANTS just have to shut-up and listen to my NEEDS.

    I NEED less stress.
    I NEED a pretty tree with SOME Christmas decorations around the house.
    I NEED to keep Christmas in perspective.

    So THIS YEAR I can promise you that the Good Housekeeping Christmas Photo Shoot will definately NOT take place at MY HOUSE.

    This year, LESS IS MORE.

    I didn't put OUT as much stuff, cause it was stressful to consider the work involved in putting it OUT and even MORE stressful to contemplate the work it would take to put it UP.

    So, I only put out what would make ME feel good.

    The tree is beautifully done, but we did NOT go HOG WILD this year with decorating.

    And to be truthful...it was JUST what I needed to do.

    I have determined that this year will be a soft & gentle Christmas.

    Some years, it seems that Christmas rolls in like a Freight Train...you can tell she is coming from far away. Lots of lights and whistles and rumbling...and she rattles the windows as she strains toward December 25th.

    Other years, my Christmas rolls in all soft and velvety like a fogbank on a low lying field. She is beautiful but she is quiet and contemplative and gentle.
    And on Christmas Morning I wake to find that she has blanketed my world...and I smile.

    This year, I NEED a Foggy Gentle Christmas.

    I NEED to play my Christmas songs.
    I NEED and see White Christmas.
    I NEED to see a few packages wrapped to put under the tree.

    I NEED to sit and soak up PEACE.

    We are not doing as many gifts this year either...which is going to keep us from feeling the monetary stress as well.

    And I guess that one last thing I can share with you is this...

    Grace's "Sure to Conjour The Elusive Christmas Muse" HOT Chocolate Recipe:

    1. Favorite Coffee Mug...not huge a soup mug... but a nice big mug
    2. TWO packets of hot chocolate mix (I prefer the RICH Chocolate type)
    3. Add water slowly and mix gently as you do, so that most of the mix is wet and will dissolve when heated in the microwave. (btw, make sure you pay attention to this process since some microwaves can cause an overflow and a big mess. FYI, I tend to leave an inch between the rim of the cup and water level before I put it in the microwave.)
    4. Add a Nice shot of Mexican Vanilla (it's stronger and more flavorful than vanilla extract). Don't put too much...take it easy until you know just how much of this you like cause too much can ruin it.
    5. Add 1 Cinnamon Stick...just plunk the thing into the hot mix.(This is the stick that looks like curled up tree bark, THAT kind of cinnamon stick, NOT the candy stuff that calls itself a cinnamon stick)
    6. Stir the contents of the mug, (including the vanilla and cinnamon stick) a few times so that everything blends well into the hot chocolate mix. (Leave the stick in the mix, and be aware that it's there so you don't choke on the thing. It will continue to flavor the hot chocolate through the whole time you are sipping it.)
    7. Top plentifully with a ton of baby marshmallows.
    8. Blow enough to cool...take a big swig...get melted marshmallow on your upper lip...smile like a toddler with a milk mustache and say "YUM!"
    9.Plop yourself in your favorite easy chair.
    10. Sip slowly while contemplating each blessing you have. List them. Even the teeniest tiniest things...like the Favorite MUG you are drinking from and the fact that you even HAD real cinnamon sticks.


    This little ritual has been known to conjour Christmas Spirit for me and I hope it works for you too.

    In Him,

  27. I am still not quite in the spirit! My house is not fully decorated and my kids have so many functions going on that I can barely keep food and laundry going! But, life is still good! I do need to get going on the shopping though!

  28. Aw, Grace!!! You are so wise. I love the 'less is more' mantra and sing it often. :) Your comment made me smile. Thanks so much for sharing. I need a marshmallow mustache. That would certainly do the trick I'm thinking!!!

  29. No. I stopped decorating the tree cause I like it with white lights and plain. It turns as well so its beautiful just as is.
    I have no small children to google eye the toys etc...in it.I miss the bright eyes and rosy cheeks on Christmas Day.Then it's hard to buy things when we buy all year round. Before, to buy something was special because people didn't shop most of the year just on holidays.The news is terrible and kills the spirit but we must keep our chins up and a stiff upper lip and keep on truckin.
    Just think, it could always be worse. So make it better.:)It's family, closeness, the little things that make this holiday special.

  30. I have to say that I was feeling the same and have recently turned it around a little...I had Gary put up our fake tree in the dining room because our real one was going up in the main room. I had him take it down and I got rid of a bunch of old christmas stuff..ornaments and decor etc...We put up our tree and a few decorations sprinkled throughout house and feeling a bit better..shopping almost done and all nieces and nephews gifts i bought online and had them delivered to ohio to grandpas to wrap!!Love my real tree and I have to say that its hard to be bah hum bug in new england cause the christmas decor and spirit is everywhere in the taste i like esp in all the unique shops!!!

  31. Jen ~ that all sounds wonderful. :) I plan on taking my time this week and enjoying fixing up the house. I like to do it spread out and not feel rushed. But I don't do near as much as I used to. Simple is certainly better!
    I bet your live tree smells wonderful!

  32. WOW I'm not even going to try
    For I will really have to lie
    If I were to beat Grace's comment up there
    That was too long, pfft just no fair..hahaha
    I tell you go watch Santa with Muscles at your bay
    You will have such a miserable day
    That you will feel all nice and cheery the rest of the time
    That thing really is a christmas crime

  33. Pat ~

    Pat ~ Santa With Muscles.
    That really caused me to chuckle!
    See, now, you helped anyway
    I needed to smile and you drove the frowns away.
    Thanks for the tip
    I won't make the trip
    to see that movie
    'cause of what you told me.

  34. Now we just need to turn that smile to christmas cheer
    If only added something sweet and ended with an "Oh Dear"..haha

  35. For me it usually hits me at church...the reality of Christ's purpose overwhelms me, and then joy spills into everything else...even to the spider web I found in my tree this morning. Boy, they don't waste anytime. Happy advent to you, Betsy!

  36. Pat ~ I'll let you know when it turns to cheer
    but at least on the right path you did steer!
    I need something magical like elf dust
    and saying 'Oh dear' is certainly a must.

  37. Anita ~ that's a good point...and I've missed the last two Sundays!

    Aw, now even your spider is helping decorate.. ..it's got to be Charlotte!

  38. same here, too. went down to the basement to get the small Christmas tree...can't find the box anywhere. No one knows where it is. So.....guess it won't get put up. Haven't bought one present..still reeling from the mega bucks paid to get the car repaired..so that has a lot to do with the absence of Christmas cheer. And I feel more stressed than ever before!

  39. Kim ~ so The Grinch stole your tree and broke your car? :)

  40. I'm pretty sure a sprinkling of snow would help. (Today was much to warm for snow...) And then maybe a Christmas pageant or two.

  41. Martha ~ snow would help I think ...and yes, it's much too warm. We have rain..and rain...and rain. ha.

  42. For me it's always cooking/baking that gets me excited about Xmas.

  43. Sometimes it doesn't 'hit' me until Christmas Eve. ;) But, it has been easier for me this year with the Little Men getting all ready. blessings ~ tanna

  44. Sometimes it doesn't 'hit' me until Christmas Eve. ;) But, it has been easier for me this year with the Little Men getting all ready. blessings ~ tanna

  45. Mike ~ that's a good idea, too! I need to do that soon...I always enjoy that!

  46. Funny you should write about your lack of Christmas spirit! I don't have it yet, either.

    Son #3 came for dinner tonight and said we should put the tree up (we did); he and Hubby got the boxes of decorations out. Most of them are out, but I still have some things to finish up tomorrow.

    If it had been up to me, nothing would be done.

  47. Kathy ~ well, at least I know I'm not alone! I'd much rather feel like Santa's elf about now!

  48. I am lacking some spirit this year myself. My kids and grandkids are so far away in Colorado so it doesn't seem to make sense to go all out decorating when they won't be here to see any of it. I'm dieting for my daughter's spring wedding, so I'm not going to bake my usual holiday goodies this year, either.
    I am trying to focus on the true meaning of Christmas that often gets lost in all the holiday shuffle. I've bought some toys for Toy for Tots and I'm going to do some volunteer work through my church with the food bank.

    One thing that always makes me happy during the Christmas season is seeing all the decorations in Manhattan this time of the year...NYC looks so beautiful and the tree at Rockefeller Center always takes my breathe away! I hope to visit it soon.

  49. I am not feeling it yet either!! Sigh!
    So I figure if I decorate the mantel and tree...it will strike. At least that is my hope!

  50. Nothing like coming in on the tail end of a conversation. I'm not really feeling the Christmas spirit either, but I need snow--not just a little--two or three inches at least. ;)

  51. Christmas? Bah! Humbug!

    For me the feast day, and handing out pressies, is 21st Dec, when we celebrate Yule in the old way with lots of "Old Grinch Ginger Beer" ( alcohol content 7%) and Plum Duff puddings. We deck the houses with holly, ivy and mistletoe. We have a great time, then we go to the woods and dance naked around the old oak tree!

    Actually, the last sentence is a lie. We keep our clothes on!

  52. Hi Keith. :) Just seeing you comment here makes me smile! Sounds like some fun traditions you have there. And I know you hand draw your Christmas cards. You try to act like a grinch, but I know you're really an old softie. ha.

  53. Rebecca ~ you aren't late...this conversation will go on all day today! ha. If it was colder here, we'd be buried in snow! Seems like it's been raining forever!

  54. Pat ~ I love that actually. I do try to keep it simple and not fill the calendar with too many extra activities. Hope you do Skype and lots of phone calls with the kids and grands. Modern technology does make the distance less painful!
    I bet NYC is gorgeous!

  55. I recognize that little tree in the window Betsy! It is PERFECT there!

    As for the spirit?? Hmmmm, YOU BETTER GET TO IT! Some Stoney Creek Christmas Blend would help!

  56. OH WAIT! THAT tree is NOT your free find! Ooops! That little Christmas Tree hat is pretty cute on my quirky boy!

  57. It's been raining here too, and I think that's almost worse than no snow and dry weather. Nothing drearier than a rainy day. Hey, have you been buying groceries every day? Maybe that's what is making it rain so much. ha!

  58. Rebecca ~ haha..no, but I am today! I'll be a soggy mess..and still in a dreary mood! ha.

  59. Hi Betsy,

    Sorry been sick with this head cold and staying in bed as much as possible.

    Anyway I was watching a show about the mom's going on strike for Christmas because they could not get their families to help and then it hit me that I have been on strike for a few years now. I just seem to not ever get into the spirit of decorating or even cooking Christmas dinner. Granted I have no need to do any of these things since everyone left the nest many years ago. Although if the wee wittle ones stay then I am screwed.

    My tree in the rafters looks like it has snow due to the spider webs after years up there. I have no idea where the decorations are anymore. Heck they could be gone and I have no clue. Yeah, no spirit here except buying the few gifts I need to buy. Grandkids just want money at their age. Makes giving gifts easy.

    I think I just quit celebrating and buying so many gifts when I decided that Christmas today is too commercialized and there are so many kids who go without and suffer through a depression at not getting "things" and I think if we all stopped going crazy then maybe these kids would not feel so bad if Christmas was just about being together with a good meal instead of things.

    Buying less gifts and donating food to those in need seems like the best Christmas thing we could do. And giving a gift to a child who has no chance of getting anything is better than giving lots of gifts to a child who gets it all.

    I think that somehow we have lost Christmas to "things", when it should really be about love for thy neighbors and those in need.

    So my "strike" against Christmas is different but I think it is also less stressful all around.

    Yup, I have turned into Mrs. Scrooge and I think it is great.

    Oh yeah, I agree with Gloria, less is better. I am just for a lot, lot less.

    God bless.

  60. the mood will come! I get my starbucks red cup and it puts me in the holiday spirit...and I watch my favorite movie, ELF and The Holiday !

  61. Mrs U ~ I agree! And you know, the part I like the best is giving to others.

  62. Heather ~ I need to stop at Starbucks! :) I do love your red cup!

  63. No you are not, I was totally caught off guard this year. It doesn't feel at all like Christmas shoudl be arriving already, but I assume it has in my case to do with all the changes that my life has been through.;))

  64. I get myself in the mood for Christmas decorating and all that by watching White Christmas or Muppets Family Christmas. Never fails to inspire me!

  65. HI Betsy,
    Worked half a day today, still weak due to the asthma troubles.
    am taking my own advice and sitting here with a big mug of Graces Hot Chocolate.

    Let's make a deal...YOU go get a cup of something warm and we'll play FINISH THE NEXT LINE OF THE CHRISTMAS SONG.

    Everybody can play...(if somebody will pick up the next line and type it, and maybe we can ALL get into the fun.)

    Yeah I know its corny...but who cares!
    1st Song...Here ya go:

    "It's beginning to look alot like Christmasssssss, Ev'rywhere you go."


  66. Take a look in the five and ten glistening once again...
    With candy canes and silver lanes aglow.

    I have half of the tree decorated! Quite a feat since I have two boys home sick and still have a jeep full of groceries to put away! Maybe this evening I can get to that cup of hot chocolate! Yum!

  67. "It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas
    Toys in ev'ry store."

    Oh dear...hope they get to feeling better soon. And unfortunately playing this lyrics game is NOT going to get your groceries unloaded. So, we can do this another time.

    Sending up a wee prayer for the boys and for you.


  68. But the prettiest sight to see is the holly that will be
    On your own front door....

    Well...maybe others will join in while I finish up!

    Hope you feel better, too! :)

  69. i totally know the feeling. and it's sad, but some years the spirit eludes me altogether. i know i am too busy and too stressed out.

    but when it hits, it's a joyous feeling. looking forward to the spirit hitting soon:)

  70. Yesm' Betsy. I do believe the Grinch stuffed my tree up the chimbley and some elf broke my car. And I am grumpy about it!

  71. Don't panic, yet... it's still just early December.

  72. Hi Betsy,

    Christmastime can be really rough, huh. I think some of it is the expectations - we're all supposed to feel happy, so it feels even worse when we don't. I keep hearing Charlie Brown's voice in my head: "I think there must be something wrong with me, Linus. Christmas is coming, but I'm not happy. I don't feel the way I'm supposed to feel. I just don't understand Christmas, I guess. I like getting presents and sending Christmas cards and decorating trees and all that, but I'm still not happy. I always end up feeling depressed."

    Don't put too much pressure on yourself. Some of us can relate. But I hope that all this wonderful support you have from your blog friends can help get you over the hump... and, remember that you will get over the hump.

    Love your hot chocolate photo... hope that helped! :)

  73. Thanks SO much, Yuji. :) I really appreciate those words. Wow, I love that quote from Charlie Brown. I haven't heard that in ages. ha. I might have to use that on my blog somewhere.
    I hope you enjoy Christmas with your little guy!

  74. Rebecca ~ I have coconut creamer, too! Yum....


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