17 ornaments Apparently, I'm trying to jump the gun this holiday season. I really  wanted to put up my Christmas decorations early this year.

Typically, we wait until the day after Thanksgiving to deck the halls, but this year, the few days between Thanksgiving and Christmas are cut short because of where Thanksgiving  falls on the calendar. I just feel like I need more time to have a holly, jolly Christmas, which means I needed my tree up yesterday.

But do I really need to have it up early? Why can't I wait just a few more days? It doesn't help that Hobby Lobby, WalMart and even gas stations (bless 'em) had rows of red and green back in August, and my favorite interior design accounts on Instagram posted their holiday décor ideas and their stockings hung by the chimney with care in October. I'm definitely being influenced by a consumer-driven culture. Sometimes we don't even notice it's happening. So, ashamedly yes, Mom, I probably would jump off that proverbial cliff too if everybody else was doing it, especially if it was covered in brightly stringed lights, gingerbread men and Christmas ribbon.

Where does it end, at least when it comes to Christmas? Where do I take control of what I want for my family and not what advertisers and influencers are telling me I need for them?
Putting up the decorations early might not seem like a big deal, but to me, it signifies much more. It signifies my inability to wait patiently. It points to the fact that I have a tendency to overspend on gifts my child won't play with longer than a couple hours, overfill my home with stuff we're just going to donate next year and overthink gift giving to the point that I'm convinced what I have to offer isn't good enough.

When I was little, my thing was Barbie dolls. I always asked for more Barbie everything — dolls, clothes they could wear, cars for them to be pushed around in, accessories, houses, etc. I remember having a few tubs full of this stuff. But I don't remember playing with them. I do remember lining them up. I remember counting them and comparing how many dolls I had to what my friends had. I remember wanting more Barbies, even though I had more than I could count on my fingers and toes combined. I was never satisfied with what I had. I always wanted more.

Contentment is a funny thing. We all long for it, but few find it. We all search for it, but few actually stop doing the same things over and over again to break the cycle and get a different result. That's the definition of insanity, right?

What if we worked and waited for good things? What if we only bought what we could afford and didn't start the new year with more debt? What if we focused on memories instead of things? What if we were satisfied with everything we already had, and anything extra was just a bonus? What if we actually thought about the person we were giving a gift to and what they would truly appreciate, instead of grabbing whatever because we feel obligated to have a present for them? What if we decided to not be afraid that our children won't have a good Christmas if they don't get everything on their extremely long Christmas list? What if we didn't do everything because everyone else is doing it?

What if I don't put up my lights until after Thanksgiving?

Alright, I've talked myself into it. I'm waiting. I'm resting. I'm going to be more thoughtful. Maybe this will be the start of something new, a push-back in my spirit that says, “No thanks, that cliff is bright and shiny with all of those Christmas lights, but it looks like a long down. I'm happy with where I am right now.”

Also, check out your favorite Christmas tunes on Christian 105.7 this holiday season. We waited until after Thanksgiving.

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