That’s how we celebrate things around our place every year! We love doing it this way…so much fun for these reasons: (thought I’d try blogging from my phone today…please excuse anything weird and/or wonky that may occur in the following, lol!)
1. More celebration…less anxious waiting.
2. More time to enjoy each gift for its own merits, rather than gift-gorging all at once and forgetting everything you just received, except the “big one”.
3. Avoids the angst spent making everything perfect, as well as the disappointing anti-climax when it’s all over so quickly.
4. Places more importance on the spirit of giving, especially when this results in getting creative with your resources…EsPeCiAlLy when this results in creating something yourself from the heart!
Sounds like terrific benefits, doesn’t it?
We also make a special effort to add things done as a family during this time. Things like seeing a movie (even if this is done right in your own home with snacks & popcorn), viewing holiday decorations around the town, having each person’s favorite meal, going out for ice cream (or have “you-make-it” ice cream sundaes at home with interesting topping choices), seeing a holiday play, playing a round of board games, work together to assemble gifts or goodie baskets for loved ones or neighbors…you name it! 🙂
Doesn’t this sound like a ton of fun and toned down on the stressful? We definitely think so and haven’t looked back since starting things this way several years ago. I hope this gives you some ideas you could try in your own family celebrations to lighten the load. If not, that’s quite okay too! Every family has their favorites and that’s important too. 🙂
I’d like to share my own gifts so far received from my wonderful family with you!
~a lovely hand knit by Emily (on needles!) scarf…it is a pretty moss green with stitch work that looks like a leafy vine! (photos to come later)
~a super cute bracelet made out of buttons! My girlies picked this up for me at the “A Victorian Christmas” we attended in Puyallup after hearing me say how much I liked it. 🙂
~a plushy Kermit the Frog from Megan! I have had a crush on Kermit since I was little and used to have one back then, but he got lost in the shuffle over the years. I was just as giddy as a school girl when I saw his charming green face looking out at me from that freshly opened package!
~a pair of comfy, oh-so-cute, black & white checked sneakers, picked out while shopping with hubby a while back…can’t wait to wear those puppies while running errands today!
The biggest thing the girls have opened so far is their brand new cell phones. Yep! We’ve taken the plunge into teenage cell phone useage, lol. 😉 They’ve had their own basic phones (pre-paid Tracfones) for a long time now, but their new ones have all the bells and whistles that comes with an Android smartphone these days…so cool! I’m super excited for them as they discover each new thing their phones can do…even take photos of their holiday adventures! 😀
I hope you’ve all been having a very Merry Christmas Season!
Posted from WordPress for Android…please excuse any typos that may slip by on this tiny screen! 😉
You mean I’m not the only “Grown Up” to still be in love with Kermit!
What a wonderful tradition! This is how it should be done.
BTW – I love my Android phone – I do everything on it but talk 😀
Sounds like a lot of fun. I really need to stop feeling stressed out over the gift part… I wish we had a Christmas with no gifts at all. lol
Erin, I know what you mean…it can feel so stressful and a little too commercial. What I forgot to mention in this post is that the gifts don’t have to be big ones! They can be a bag of homemade goodies, or a new book…just one special thing each day of the celebration. Last night, my hubby’s opened gift was a Lifesaver Book-box, chosen for him because he fondly remembers receiving those as a child. He loved it! 🙂
I also like the idea of making a few of these days be hand crafted only gifts. It puts the emphasis on the giving part more than the receiving end of things.
We’ve tried the no gift angle before and it just wasn’t complete for us that way. I like the idea of teaching my kids how much joy there is in giving to others, as well as how to receive gifts graciously, no matter how small. 🙂
What wonderful family traditions! Cherish them in your heart and memory… they grow up and have families of their own someday, and then they try to divide time with all the relatives. (Unfortunately, this creates stress for them, especially when they live far away.) “Poof”… there goes the old family traditions you used to share together ~ snif~ but, there is a season for all things; so enjoy your young family traditions and all the fun that goes with them while they last 🙂
Bethany~ Thanks, for sharing a bit of you family! Blessings of love & joy, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. xoxo
I love your 12 days of Christmas Bethany,
This year I was getting very stressed and a bit sad since my oldest cannot come home for Christmas (wave to him Bethany) LOL
I spent so much time and effort on everyone else and at church and left no time to get my own things done. A friend and her 8 year old daughter came to help put up the outside lights. We even raked leaves together and it was so much fun. They came with me to give gifts to a family in Plano too. Then they came over day before yesterday and we finally got the cleaning and tree up, We had so much fun that we even invited a 5 year old neighbor girl to come bake a batch of Christmas cookies. Now things are getting better due to some friends. They don’t have things like this so yesterday the 8 year old asked if she could come again. I wanted to say no since I caught the sniffles and was getting a sinus infection but decided to say alright. What a wonderful day. We shared lunch, watched Christmas kids movies and danced and loom knitted together. She is making her first long loom scarf. We had cookies and hot chocolate and a relaxing day. Then I went and got Chinese soup for dinner and felt so much better today. It would have been easy to say no but when we give in to others we are blessed also. I may do this more often and include some church kids to bring in the wonderment of the season. They loved it all. Even the simple stuff we forget about.
MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE
Jeannette, your Christmas time sounds wonderful! I love the fact that you’re so willing to help others and be a comfort, no matter how that may “inconvenience” you at the time. I loved reading about the unexpected joy you found in spending time with that little girl and how that has inspired you to do that more often… getting to play with those kidletts make us feel young again at the same time, right? 🙂 What a magical Christmas you’ve described…and one that the little girl will probably never forget!
I’ve sent a big wave down south to your son for you! Happy New Year, Jeannette!