Nothing like being naked at Christmas to get people’s attention.
Naked and nude are really only words (with several different meanings), but they do tend to attract curiosity.
The founding members of the Barenaked Ladies band came up with the name on a whim while attending a boring concert. They pretended to be music critics and entertained themselves by coming up with some outlandish band names.
Thus, Barenaked Ladies was born. It certainly got attention. They’ve commented that Barenaked Men just didn’t have the same ring to it. That cracks me up!
There are many more terms for the word nude than I’d imagined. Most were familiar, but some were quite amusing.
Alternate terms for nude:
- Buck naked
- In the buff
- Birthday suit
- Naked as a jay bird
- Without a stitch
- Au naturel
- Stark naked
- In the altogether (this is my favorite)
What does nude have to do with Christmas?
What if partners, husbands and wives, actually made time for a little Christmas in the nude? What if families stripped Christmas down to its au naturel state and discovered new meanings?
I woke up beside my husband recently and he commented that he likes my morning outfit. It doesn’t take long to figure that one out. We normally sleep in things that bare most of our skin. We’re most exposed in the morning before the clothes go on.
There’s a sweet vulnerability that defines intimacy in its truest form. The ability to be comfortable and known while being seen with all of our flaws.
Do you realize that our mates just want “us”? The “in the buff” us that’s our most basic self … more than anything material we could ever offer them.
They want the tousled, sleepy, see-through version of us. That is how we connect best — skin to skin — with no fancy outer wrapping to cover our authentic self. The beauty of simplicity and touch are seriously undervalued. They’re simply underwhelming.
Christmas could use a little unwrapping. The outlandish costume it wears completely covers the beauty of its basic form. Do our kids really and truly need $1500 worth of stuff they will likely not appreciate the following month?
Should the Christmas edition of Pottery Barn catalog define what our house looks like at the holidays?
Do our spouses need that expensive bottle of cologne, or the new TV, or would they rather have more of us? In the nude, literally, as well as figuratively.
The puffed up version of Christmas
What if couples consciously prioritized each other during the most frenzied days of the year? Imagine your family taking a deep breath, and celebrating the peaceful basics of the season rather than the idea of what Christmas has become.
Unravel the TV and magazine versions of Christmas. What about a little more skin, a bit more time and closeness on Christmas Eve or even Christmas day. Spend half an hour lying next to each other in the flimsy clothes your person likes best.
Christmas is about people — and the fact that God loves us so much, He came in human flesh to be next to us. It’s about Him and the people He loves and the people He wants us to love.
It has nothing to do with stuff, and doing, and creating a Martha Stewart Christmas.
Why is it that millions of people struggle with depression, suicide, and downright misery at the holidays? There is so. much. pressure.
When my four kids were little, my stress level noticeably went up every October. I knew that 1,000 extra things would soon be added to my plate. The busy season was coming, and I didn’t like it. I dreaded it… I dreaded the whole month of December.
And what the hell happened to Thanksgiving?
It also makes my skin crawl that Thanksgiving is COMPLETELY OVERSHADOWED by Christmas. And it’s my favorite holiday — since childhood. We’d drive the 3 hours every year to my grandparents’ and have a giant Thanksgiving dinner.
There was my own family, eight aunts and uncles, cousins, and grandparents. It was glorious, fun, entertaining, crazy, and most of all…it was about Us. Not gifts, or doing extra things.
We showed up, helped with various side dishes, and reveled in the family time, catching up on things, and loving on each other.
A Diane Sawyer Christmas
Years ago, Diane Sawyer, the famous news anchor, commented that she does not celebrate Christmas like everyone else.
She had grown weary of what it had become, and sick of the rat race of gift buying and shipping packages. She stripped it down to the basics: family, peace, and enjoying the beauty of the season.
It’s sacred and special. You’re supposed to slow down and breathe it in, not speed up and hurry.
Year after year we scramble like so many headless chickens to grab whatever we can find for EVERY single person on our LIST. That dreaded list…
I believe more money is wasted every year on Christmas than anything else. Like a pressure cooker waiting to explode, there’s a mad dash to buy things — anything — for Aunt Jenny in Omaha, brother Paul in Dallas, Grandma in Columbus.
And the biggest slice of Christmas hell is getting it to the post office by Tuesday. Otherwise, It. Won’t. Get. There. On. Time.
Let’s take our Christmas clothes off
Now, back to that Christmas in the nude. Sounding a little better, isn’t it?
What does it actually mean, though? Whatever you want it to.
Minimize, stop scrambling, and don’t buy crap no one wants just to get it to the post office.
Slow down, bake some cookies, invite close friends you haven’t seen in forever over for fancy Christmas dessert and some wine or cocoa.
Read a Christmas book throughout December with your kids — or a whole series. I read the entire Jotham’s Journey series aloud to my kids every December. They loved it.
Be grateful for the Dora panties
We have always lived on one income. Having hated the daycare thing when I was a kid, I wanted to be home with mine. I was blessed we could make that happen. But it wasn’t without its sacrifices.
We never had extra funds to buy the crazy expensive TV gifts. My girls always got (and loved) colorful new notebooks, journals, chocolates, and practical things. A fancy Disney toothbrush and cute new Dora panties were things that brought smiles.
Like I said…Christmas in the nude. Down to the essentials — and being grateful for them.
The best thing about December, for my youngest, was her Christmas cookie party. We’d make up a few kinds of cookie dough, invite several of her young friends, and totally destroy the kitchen.
There were sprinkles, cookie cutters, dough-covered spoons, flour — you name it — everywhere. There was also laughter, eyes that sparkled with pure joy, chattering, and oohing and ahhing over their creations.
My daughter looked forward to this every year. And with a smile in my heart, and just a little dread of the mess, I did too.
What will you do this year to strip down Christmas?
What about giving your mate a few more half hours of your time? Make December a month of connecting, touching, loving, and being. Make it less about giving stuff and more of a pouring out of what’s really inside.
Try these for a true Christmas in the nude
- Buy a tree and decorate it together, but try different things — string popcorn together like they did in the old days. Try some cranberries, too. And don’t forget to throw a few at each other while you’re at it. Bring laughter into December. Stop stressing.
- Go listen to a local symphony play real, old-fashioned baroque Christmas music. Expose your children to some of the history of Christmas.
- Volunteer at a shelter together. Serving others will certainly bring you out of your own head, make you grateful for your full fridge, and provide a powerful lesson against the materialism of the season.
- Kiss your spouse for a full minute. Really look at those eyes and into that sweet face. They chose you, and you chose them. Don’t put them on the back burner during December.
- Make five kinds of cookies together: you and your mate, as a family, with your kids, or have a few girlfriends over, sip wine, laugh, and enjoy being kids again.
- Make pretzel sticks dipped in chocolate and hand them out to people who are down on their luck. Stick a $5 bill in with it too. Wouldn’t you rather teach your kids to give and love rather than expect and want?
- Have a family meeting and choose one or two things each person would really like to receive most (within a set price range). Then go through a catalog together and decide, as a family, what you’d like to spend the rest of the Christmas budget on — maybe chickens for a village.
- Try shopping for handmade goods from women who’ve been rescued from human trafficking and now depend on their crafts to support themselves. Maybe that would make a better gift for Aunt Jenny…even if it Gets. There. Late.
Lights as big as oranges
Sit in the darkness at night and just stare at the tree. There’s no time quite like Christmas if we slow down and look.
The lights are so beautiful. And if you have terrible eyesight like me, take your glasses off. Christmas lights, when you’re half blind, are breathtaking. I wish everyone could see them that way. It’s almost beyond description.
I was near my breaking point one night, years ago — feeling utterly defeated and exhausted. I took my glasses off and stared at the tree. The lights were as big as oranges, and each had a snowflake pattern.
Best of all, they floated and pulsated wider and smaller. My eyes were trying to bring them into focus, and it was magical.
It’s now one of my favorite ways to de-stress during the season. Just sit in the dark, and stare at those lights. I only discovered it because of a near meltdown years ago…ironic.
However you choose to strip down the holiday season, even if you only take baby steps this time, just do it mindfully. Think about your days in December, and fill them with more purpose… and please don’t forget about Thanksgiving!
Please PIN and share!