This year for Christmas my family and I are doing something a little different and I am excited about it! A new tradition, a new way of thinking and being around the holiday season, and more important a new way to honor what the holiday really means.
Every year Christmas and its true meaning fades more and more into the background while the consumers eat up and eat away at anything left of what the holiday really means.
Look into any isle in a store before even Halloween and you are sure to see a small section of Christmas already beginning to multiply.
It's not even thanksgiving yet and some stores already have the music playing. It's insulting and it's truly sad that every year the holiday becomes a distant memory of what it truly stands for.
I am tired of being told by a holiday that I need to go out and "SPEND" money on people just because of the day. When I buy a gift for someone it's because I truly care about them. I buy it because the gift means something and there is a connection behind it.
I buy things for my kids throughout the year. When they need something and they have done good things and they deserve it, I have no problem getting those things that they want or need. I am a very giving person and my kids never go without.
Since my kids were little, it was almost like I was forced to go out and stress over buying the kids gifts. I felt like I had to equal to every other parent out there and how they did Christmas for their kids. If my under my tree wasn't jam packed on Christmas morning when the kids woke up, I felt guilty that maybe I didn't do enough, and then I realized "this isn't Christmas, God wouldn't want this for us.".
When you see parents buying their kids over hundreds and hundreds of dollars in Christmas gifts to the point that the kids are opening gifts for over 2 hours Christmas morning, THAT is when we should all say enough is enough!
I do know some of those people. Those kids who sit there and open gifts and throw it aside saying "NEXT!! WHATS NEXT!!" not even appreciating what it is that they just got. It's not the kids fault, it's the parents doing, the children are only following the example in front of them, and it's up to us to show them what the true meaning of Christmas is.
Every year as my boys turn into young men - them being all teens now, I am really beginning to incorporate a different kind of Christmas. Setting up family traditions and getting gifts in a whole different way. Showing them that it is NOT only about the gifts - there is so much more to Christmas.
I refuse to go out and buy my kids over 30 gifts to open Christmas morning just because the holiday says it's what we should do, or because that is what everyone else is doing. You can give a few really nice gifts that could equal or be worth more than all those 30 gifts or hours of gift opening can provide if you really focus on the meaning behind it.
I give to my kids all year around. When they need something, or truly want something, if they work hard or show they deserve it, I am SO open to give them something that means something to them, not because a holiday is here or because it's something I have to do.
I am doing something different this year. I bought my kids some things they wanted and needed at the beginning of the month. Not on or for Christmas, but because they earned it and they wanted it. They loved it, and they appreciated it, and I had a good time giving it to them because I wasn't forced to do it.
This year we are doing a white elephant exchange for the whole family as a game ... and then we are doing fun stocking stuffers and small side gifts on the side that hold meaning and things fun and needed, and some surprises as well.
I am not going out there buying hundreds and hundreds of dollars worth of gifts that empty my bank account leaving me and my family broke until the new year.. that is not Christmas to me.
We have a Christmas Eve party with lots of food and games and fun! We have friends coming over and plan to do the white gift exchange that has a game behind it. We will go to MIDNIGHT mass and spend quality time as a family right where it all counts. We will then wake up Christmas morning and open the gifts that took time to pick out for each kid that I know they will like.
We plan to have a big Christmas dinner and just spend quality time together watching a movie or playing more games. That is the true meaning for Christmas for me, and this year it truly a celebration for me.
Looking past on the year and how wonderful connection feels right now with my life, with my work in therapy with my therapist.. with my friends and church again, I am blessed and don't need anything else - those things are truly things that money can't buy.
so this year is about new traditions and family, grace and love ... time spent together that creates memories - non returnable non refundable.
The best part of this, my boys totally agree and are all looking forward to the fun new tradition this year. I LOVE that my kids see the true meaning of Christmas, and hopefully they will carry on and down the same meaning to their kids, so that Christmas is not totally lost behind the commercialization of it all.