© 2018 by erin barkel photography.

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The one about our naked tree...

December 12, 2016


If you haven't guessed by now, our lives are pretty crazy. Between the 5 kids, my husband's full time job, my growing photo biz, the dog, 3 kittens and our constantly under construction house: we are the very definition of chaos. #truth


And I love Christmas. It is my favorite holiday. Not because of presents. Not because of the food. But it's when my most Martha Stewart-esqueness combines with what my husband calls my gift of casserole and yields a gigantic Griswald sized Christmas fiasco where I end up in tears on Christmas Eve because something didn't turn out I wanted it... Well usually.  


This year after we got the Lowes tree perched in her stand in the living room and the few strands of light we have that weren't broken or burnt out on, I just stopped.  My heart screamed no.  My brain shut down.  The thoughts of carrying up the tubs filled with Christmas balls, baubles and decor proved to be too much for my already anxiety ridden soul. So guess what.


We didn't.


We didn't drag them up.

We didn't fret over what goes where.

We didn't rearrange ornaments on the tree that kids clump in one spot on the front (you know you move them too- don't judge me!)

We didn't  hang up yards and yards of faux pine garland that sheds all over my house and makes lovely little snacks for my crawling baby that I need to then fish out of her trachea. 


Soooo... For this year, we didn't. And most importantly that's OK. 


Not only that: My house is still festive.

There's still Christmas music blasting from Pandora.

The house smells like pine tree and fresh baked cookies because we have a tree and dude, Mama needed a cookie. 

And special shout out to Mother Nature and her butt load of snow she's dumped on us, our house once again feels like Christmas.


But you know what's the best part? I feel like Christmas.


Finally, Christmas is so much more than holiday house tours (although I am a blogger junkie and love seeing everyone's gorgeous decor). It's more than fake garland, shiny doodads and baubles and let's face it excess clutter and stress inside my home and in my schedule.  It's about my family piled onto the couch watching "Elf" for the 900th time this week. 


It's the baby crawling past the tree all lit up without worrying she's going to break an ornament. It's the peace of mind that when Christmas is over I won't have to spend days de-decorating my house and can I just say, it feels FABULOUS! 

Photo taken by my 4 year old if you can believe it!


Yep. We Barkels are going simple this Christmas and I have a feeling that someone out there wishes he/she could too.


Well, my friend, I am giving you the green light on a Christmas without extra chaos and instead encouraging you to enjoy a calm, unhurried holiday season filled with more memories than broken ornaments, less overwhelm and more joy. I'm giving you permission to cancel your annual Pinterest-inspired cookie decorating party that stresses you out and steals your Christmas joy.  I'm giving you permission to say "thank you but no thank you" to your husband's 3rd cousin, twice removed sister-in-law and her giant tinsel covered shin-dig that makes the hair on the back of your arm stand up just thinking about it.  Heck! I'm giving you permission to say sayonara to the crazy long line at the mall and hello to Amazon prime (you can thank me later).


I am giving you permission be a "slacker" like me this year and most importantly be OK with it! Because for the first time in YEARS (seriously, years) I can breathe this holiday season. And we're OK. 

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