Christmas is completely out of control in almost every way. Overspending, overbooking, and overdoing seems to be the societal theme… but in some ways our family likes to challenge society a bit.
Here are some things we do to keep Christmas as simple and meaningful as possible.
We don’t rush Christmas. Christmas doesn’t start Thanksgiving night or the day after Thanksgiving for us. We often spend Thanksgiving Day with one side of the family and then some time over the weekend with the other side. There’s no rush. No timeline. We trust that the tree will get up and the gifts will get wrapped before December 24. Good enough!
We celebrate Advent. Advent is such a neglected, overlooked season. It’s important to us in that it provides the opportunity to anticipate and wait for Christmas. We also cherish this time with our kids to prepare them and focustheir attention on the magnitude of the upcoming holiday. “Jesus is coming!” has been my boy’s favorite exclamation as of late. Right now my older two are busy little “do-gooders” as they earn stickers for their Christmas trees on the fridge. “I got a sticker for Jesus, Mommy!”
I shop and pick up gifts throughout the year. We are blessed with a very old cement dungeon of a basement that isn’t good for much but storage. But OH, the STORAGE! I keep my eye out all year for clearanced items that work beautifully for grab bags and children’s (our own and our nieces and nephews) gifts. Therefore, by the time November and December roll around, my Christmas shopping is usually 60% or more done for a fraction of the cost. I try to finish my shopping at various local craft fairs so I can purchase unique handmade items. (Visit me next week when I tackle that gift room… I’m not quite sure what’s even down there right now!)
My children are thrilled to receive needed items for Christmas. They are as excited to pull out toothpaste and a toothbrush from their stocking as they are a useless – albeit bright and shiny – trinket (which will break and be thrown away before the new year). I take advantage of this and wrap up things they need, along with a select few “real” gifts. It’s all about the unwrapping at their ages!
We stay far, far away from commercials… as much as possible. (not terribly difficult since we have only one channelon our tv) Kids are much like adults. If they don’t know it’s out there, they don’t know they want it! They become content (happy, even!) with what they have.
Christmas preparations don’t have to be stressful and time consuming. Be encouraged… celebrate the season in a simple, meaningful way this year. Visit Keeper of the Home for more simple ways to celebrate Christmas. Add some of your own while you’re there!