I’m the first to admit it, I love going big during the Holidays and many times I’ve gone overboard and in turn made Christmas more about the material and less about the Spirit. However, with 5 kids that can become expensive and unrealistic. I also feel it sets a materialistic precedent with kids that isn’t good for their formation and can give them the wrong message. So below are some tips I have to help take away some of the “complication” from the Holidays and help reclaim the True Spirit of the Season.
If you’re like me chances are you’ve left things to the lasts minute many times. With running a house, work and kids it can become necessary to embrace the spirit of procrastination. That being said what is the outcome of that spirit? Frustration, Anger, and bad feelings. Christmas isn’t a surprise so why is it we’re all running around the day before Christmas getting gift for people? Running around getting things ready that could have been done weeks in advance? I know for many of us it can be impossible but making a list and tackling it slowly before Christmas may give you the necessary time in the end to truly enjoy the time with family and not spend it running around getting everything done.
Emphasis the True Meaning of Christmas
Christmas isn’t just about Santa or Gifts, or Parties, it’s about something bigger than all of us, even if you’re not religious, Christmas is the one time of the year were you make an extra effort not to be a jerk, because you know that it’s special. So teach your children the importance of the spirit of Christmas. I know every year there’s a million fights about Team Santa VS Team No Santa but that shouldn’t be what drives Christmas or it’s spirit. IT should be about making us better people, a better society, EMPATHETIC and most important embrace what it’s about. For Christians it’s the Birth of Christ a belief held by so many as the Birth of God. The fact we see it as a celebration of the fact that he came down from Heaven to be one of us and to teach us, knowing he would die for our sins shows us the true Gift of Love. For Non Christians ,but those that celebrate secular Christmas, embracing the meaning of Love, Family and all those things that join us as humans should be key.
Simplify the Gift Giving
I’m not going to lie it gets hard. For starters we’re team Santa Claus and I know in many house holds Santa can go big! I know we love to go overboard we want to give our kids the best and most. However, what good does that really do them? My husband and I decided from day one to only give 3 gifts to our kids because that’s what the Maggi Brought baby Jesus. That has made gift giving a lot simpler for us. Next,we decided to stick to a certain budget with each child, we wouldn’t go over it. Finally any money left over from that budget would be used towards a family gift. Something that we could all use as a family. Last year we got a Popcorn Machine. We stick to this set of rules and even the kids know “Santa” only brings us 3 gifts. We told them it was because we asked him to only bring that, taking away from any awkwardness of having other kids say they got more.
Giving is GREAT but Charity Begins At Home
We all put an emphasis in giving back to the community during the Holidays ,but how much of that time is spent truly giving back to those in your home? Showing them you really love and appreciate them. Going that extra mile to show your husband patience, telling your wife you appreciate all she does. It’s in the little things and the little details that we need to focus on. Going out and giving back to the society is important but what good will it do you when your own house is a hot mess?
We get so caught up in getting caught up we forget that this season is about family. About being together. Think back to your past Christmas, how many people do you know that were part of that Christmas and are no longer here. I remember my Godmother’s last Christmas was spent away from her and Instead of taking the time to see her more and enjoy her those last few weeks I was so caught up in creating the perfect Christmas I wasn’t creating memories. She died a few months later and I’ll never have that time back with her. It’s not about being grim or throw a black cloud into things but we’re human and we don’t live forever. I love the picture below for SOOO Many reasons. That’s me in the middle at around 7 years old. This picture not only has people that have passed away but it shows me how fast time goes and how being together as a family is what’s important. This is the true spirit of Christmas. If we can take a season to make the effort maybe it will lead to better relationships with our loved ones.
Don’t sweat the imperfections
When my husband and I got married I made sure our tree was color coordinated and perfect. Only White and Red ornaments were allowed and everything had to be a symmetrical perfection.
This is my tree this year.
If you look closely there’s an ornament made out of a McDonald’s Cup on my tree. Yes I HAVE Garbage on my tree. My 5 year old made it. Old me would have gone into septic shock putting it on my tree but I realize the importance of embracing and loving the magic and love in a child’s heart during Christmas.
Enjoy! Take time to smell the cookies
We get so caught up in the perfect pinterest Christmas we forget to truly make memories . We want to make everything so perfect and magical for our kids that we end up making it complicated on everyone including those we set out to impress. So yes it’s ok to bring out the old Elf on The Shelf but if making magical elf on the shelf poop is going to send you over the edge then just say no and enjoy the simpler things like a cup of hot cocoa and a story with the kids. One of the biggest complaints kids have is lack of time their parents spend with them. I’m guilty of it. Even though i’m with my kids 24/7 there are days that this page does envelope my life. So I make it a point to step away and enjoy the little things. Make those memories because they’ll only be here once.
No two Christmases will EVER be the same no matter how you try to recreate them. Kids Grow up, Family Moves or passes away , financial situations change, so remember to embrace and simplify the beauty of each year and not let the everyday garbage ruin the true spirit of Love, Family and most important being Selfless and truly saying I value those around me and the gifts I’ve been given. Because when you least expect it the kids will be grown, mom and dad will be gone and all that will be left is the memories. So embrace, enjoy,simplify and Love!