I truly hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season and all the chaos it brings. I know this intro does not at all sound heart felt, but lets be real sometimes all the holiday parities, festivities, dinners and meet ups with family members can be exactly what I said chaos. In previous years I was the mom who would start Christmas shopping usually on Black Friday and my goal was to have all presents wrapped and ready to go 2 weeks before Christmas. This year not so much, blame it on the Dave Ramsey program we are still actively in, or the fact that I am preggo and haven’t felt much like myself the last few weeks. Or could it be for the first time in my years as a mom, I am just now learning to focus on what is truly important. Let me explain…
My son who is 5 and my niece who is 7 are amazing kids, they have the best of both worlds being raised close but also being able to retreat back to separate houses when playing together becomes overwhelming. Year after year, birthday after birthday we go through there bedrooms and the amount of toys these kids accumulate amazes me. It amazed me so much with my son that a few years ago we decided we would give my son a family birthday dinner and then we as a family go on a trip for his birthday. The idea behind this was the amount of money I would normally spend on his birthday party could instead go to pay for a fun experience. I love the thought that when my son is 18 we will have been on as a family 18 different experiences (minimum) just because we as a family spent the time together “experiencing” rather than blowing money on extravagant b-day parities.
In saying all this my eyes have now been opened this holiday season to really think about how we will be spreading the joy of Christmas and the holiday season together as a family and with the kids without going overboard and over spending. This year we as a family have committed to the Christmas challenge of gifting in these 4 ways. 1.) Give them something they WANT. 2.) Give them something they NEED. 3.) Give them Something to WEAR. 4.) Give them something to READ. That’s it! Seems like a small list right?! Well it kind of is, but it’s also forced me to talk with my son and my niece about the true meaning of Christmas versus giving them false expectations of what society tells us Christmas is about.
One day these kids are going to be grown adults and holding themselves to the expectations and standards we are showing to them “now” while they are little. I refuse to hold my son to such a high standard of spending hundreds of dollars on Christmas presents that may give his friends and family only temporary gratification. Instead why not start early and teach them the value and true meaning of why Christmas is so important. This idea is not at all easy to live by and trust me not how I was even raised, but the concepts make sense to me and our family and that is all that matters. So this holiday season I encourage you to go share experiences with your loved ones. Make gingerbread houses, make Christmas Cookies, Put up Christmas decorations together, really focus on making this holiday season what you want and what serves your family. Rather than try doing what everyone else is doing. Because as I am learning the kids are not going to remember the $50.00 toy you bought them, but they will remember ice skating traditions, making cookie traditions, experiences, that for you my friend will cost a lot less than those temporary toys.
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