Less is more this Christmas season

For my mother and daughter, during the pandemic, we were able to keep the tradition alive to make German nut bread, Southeast Editor Kellie Houx said. 

I have a confession to make. I am a creature of habit. In this crazy time of a pandemic, I have been craving my routine more than ever, especially during this abnormal Christmas season.

In a post from Thought Catalog, I read this phrase: “… most things that bring genuine happiness are not just temporary, immediate gratifications, and those things also come with resistance and require sacrifice.”

This year probably spells out a big sacrifice for many of us.

In trying to keep a routine, we put the Christmas tree up after Thanksgiving because my husband believes in keeping holidays separated by at least a few days.

Of and on, we have been shopping for Christmas though. One of my personal directives is to attempt to find the oddest, but most appreciated gift that fits each person I buy for. It’s a skill and I will admit, it is still developing because personally I have received some quizzical looks from family after they open a gift.

Professionally, as a reporter, I’ve have been able to cover those few stories and photo assignments that were still scheduled despite COVID-19. The Smithville Lighted Parade, which I have photographed for a few years now, is a delightful familiar assignment that hits the right notes for me.

While Shop with a Cop didn’t occur with the normal gusto of children teamed with local officers shopping at Walmart or Target, it still took place with officers collecting wish lists, shopping, wrapping and delivering presents to area kids.

In this time of such uncertainty, other stories have fallen by the wayside, with hopes that next year will be better and those traditional events will occur without a hitch.

For my mother and daughter, we were able to keep the tradition alive to make German nut bread. It’s an old family recipe brought over from Germany. My daughter, Maddie, is not really a fan of breads or sweets, but she loves setting aside a long afternoon with my mother to make the nut bread. She treasures these times and I watch my mother and daughter with a heart of joy that this simple act of baking still holds such diversion and comfort.

I have realized more is not better. Happiness is not experiencing something else, but it’s continually experiencing what already exists. Happiness is not how many things you do, but how well you do them.

Christmas has been a confusing time for children and adults alike. However, it’s Christmas Eve and I always believe something wonderful is about to happen as I hope to retain that childlike quality to listen for hooves on housetops. I hope that sense of joy and wonder will carry us into the new year.

Southeast Editor Kellie Houx can be reached at kellie.houx@mycouriertribune.com or 389-6630.

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