After 9 years of doing a synchronized Christmas I made the hard decision to take the year off from setting up a Christmas display. There's no real "one" reason for sitting this year out. Just need to take a break and think for a year what I want to do next year.

The weather here in Missouri has not been very good for setting up a Christmas display for the last few years. It's either been too cold, too rainy or the snow came too early as it did last year and now this year. Summer months are impossible to get things done as the heat and humidity really wear me down. Each year I tell myself I'm gonna build this or add this to my display and as usual with days left to prepare, I again find myself way behind schedule and nothing new to add. I've been running the same setup for 6 years now. Occasionally I'll move a few items around in the yard, but it's all the same.

Now that my kids now are now growing up, their interests have changed and I no longer have the extra set of hands to help out. One son moved out, another is working / going to college and engaged, and the other is heavily involved in his after school theater project. I am proud of their accomplishments as a father and have always encouraged them to work hard and do what they want for their successes. But when you depended on them after all these years and they are no longer there, it's impossible for one person to do everything.

My job has been the biggest source of stress the last several years. This year many drastic and almost impossible changes came to the HVAC industry. My workload this year was almost double of previous years. I've already decided I may make some career changes starting next year.

Lastly, I haven't felt in the Christmas mood this year. Normally I am always thinking about Christmas thru the whole year. But for some reason with all the BS in the media, workload at work, and the weather I thinks it's finally caught up with me. I'm not depressed, just exhausted and want some time off to regroup and come back stronger next year.

I won't ever stop decorating for the holidays, but I really think it's time to scale things back and make some decisions what goes and what stay in next years display.