Trolls and Such

20150120_174335I love January and February! Seriously, I do. In January we start a new year, a new semester of school, sport a new outfit or two, and everything just seems possible – mainly because the trolls and such are finally gone.

We have trolls from time to time, and they mostly come out around Christmas. So we call them Christmas trolls. They eat loads of sugary foods. They cook weird things that only show up in December. They open loads of gifts. They play way too many video games. They receive checks in the mail and rush off to the toy store to buy things they don’t need. They rush from here to there. They spend money on things no one needs. They get bored, then exhausted, then bored again.

20150118_102158They get frustrated. Then a few days later, when the weird food has all been eaten and the boxes and bows have all been tossed in the garbage, they forget what all the fuss was about and return to their former selves. And every year, despite our best efforts, when all the packages are opened and the new things are smashed into their new hiding spots, life returns to normal, and we aren’t really sure if we celebrated the right thing or not.

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These trolls are us – the kids and the parents, and every single year as we approach the Holiday season we promise ourselves we won’t get carried away. But then we do. Thankfully this year it wasn’t with extravagant gifts or decorations (thanks to our tiny living space), but nevertheless we did become something other than our normal selves. Two weeks away from our routine. Two weeks away from our healthy eating habits (or three or four). Two weeks away from our screen time limits and outdoor lifestyle. Then, just about the time that we all thought we would go crazy, the two weeks were over; we started back to school, our routine returned, we went back to our outdoor-loving selves, and all was right again. Ah, January and February!

20141226_110119It’s so easy to forget the struggle for simple living, especially when we had so much fun visiting our extended family after a few months away, but now that we’re back in our routine and settled into an amazing camphosting gig, I just couldn’t shake the feeling that I needed to write about it. Yes, I’m mainly writing for the me that will stand in the Christmas section of Target in November of 2015 wondering what all we should or shouldn’t do this year for the Holidays. I’m praying she will make good choices. I’m praying she will remember the trolls and such of 2014 (and 2013 and so on) and choose a holiday season that is about so much more than packages and fancy food.

20150125_232441 This little story was inspired by The Christmas Troll by Eugene Peterson, a book we read each and every year, several times a year, and a phrase we use any time one of us becomes a little something other than him or herself. 

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