Monday, November 1, 2010

4 Things for Christmas

As a mother of 4 teenagers, I'm beginning to consider the holiday season with a critical eye. As my children grew bigger, the gifts they wanted got smaller... and more expensive! I've watched as "receiving presents" became more important than "giving presents". We've tried a few things in recent years, including simply giving them money and taking them to the after Christmas sales (I loved this but hubby hated it). We have stopped giving gifts to one side of the family and instead take all the cousins/aunts/uncles shopping for a family in need (slowly growing in popularity with the kids). For my immediate family, I've really been pondering what we can do to make Christmas MEANINGFUL, JOYFUL and SIMPLE.
In the Victorian Era, there was a simple mantra for Christmas Giving:
"Something they WANT, Something they NEED, 
Something to WEAR and Something to READ"

In thinking outside the box, I found a few thoughts about what children REALLY WANT for Christmas by authors Jo Robinson Jean C. Staeheli of "Unplug the Christmas Machine": 
  1. A relaxed and loving time with the family. Children need relaxed attention. During the holidays, slow down and spend quality time with your kids.
  2. Realistic expectations about gifts. Kids enjoy looking forward to gifts and then having their expectations met. The key is to manage their expectations. In this economy, it may be wise to focus on things you can make for each other and to talk to your children about what to reasonably expect.
  3. An evenly paced holiday season.  Note to self: Pace yourself! Reserve some nights at home for low-key fun with the family. The authors suggest starting the season later or stretching the celebration through to New Years Day.
  4. Reliable family traditions.  The things I remember most about Christmas as a child were caroling with my family on Christmas Eve, shopping with my cousin for gifts on Black Friday and the food (with me, it's always the food!). I am considering traditions I can continue or create this year with my older kids. 
What do you think?

1 comment:

ArtisticInkspirations said...

Love it!! Things have gotten too commercial. When I was younger, Christmas used to be very special. We'd bake cookies and things and take them to the neighbors out in the country, and visit.. Nothing as commercialized as it is now. "In the good ol days....."...there's something to be said for that. Families are too scattered now too. My grandkids are in Tenn.. havent' been able to go see them for over 4 yrs... or more..Losing count