Really, it was and is. I often have overly great expectations and then get the blues a bit if reality strikes. This was my first retirement Christmas holiday. So, I wonder, how was it different?
First, the faux tree. No worries. You put it up, decorate and enjoy until July if you like. It has twinkly lights. I got all my decorating done early and DH commented on how nice it was. He doesn't help with decorating much, unless required. But it is nice to know he enjoys as well.
I made and bought lots of my fav things as presents. I refused to wrap and gave them out to family as they liked to take. Present a basket. They remove what they want. Works for me. No pressure, no fuss. They seemed fine with it and I must say it really didn't matter to me if they liked, took anything , or not. I had fun and hoped they would too, but didn't look for anything back in spirit or gift from the giftees. Nice. So nice.
My DH is not much for being gifted. He accepts gifts with thanks but there is little excitement or oohing or aaaahing. This year I started about 2 weeks out and gave him a gift whenever I felt like it. He got a gift every day or so and we both could enjoy and appreciate more that way. This new tradition is a keeper. I didn't worry if I had gotten the right things. I just gave him things I thought he might like, and no clothing made the cut. Except for the socks I am still knitting for him. He is still waiting for those but gets to help keep the yarn untangled. He seems to like his gifts more. I think the relaxed pace suits him as well.
Along with this relaxed way of giving, I had a more relaxed way of anticipating being gifted. I went with no expectations. I got several well thought out gifts from friends and family, and they were complete surprises and truly wonderful! When you spend no time trying to set up a perfect Christmas in your mind, all that comes your way is gravy! I like it.
DH and I really relaxed and spent time just counting our blessings and putting about. It's been a really nice, feel good holiday. That's a truly lovely gift, isn't it?