Liam, Christmas 2011
With that said, I thought I'd share a few ways that our family has chosen to simplify the holidays this year...
Things we are doing/did:
- Making simple homemade ornaments for our little tabletop tree
- Building a gingerbread house with the boys (using a store-bought kit)
- Buying a few presents for the boys
- Going through the boys' toys and donating things that are no longer played with
- Visiting Christmas in the Oaks with friends
- Attending a few (but not all) holiday parties that we've been graciously invited to
- Completing advent readings (using this calendar and booklet) each night in December leading up to Christmas (the particular book we're using is better suited for older children, but we're making it work for our preschooler this year)
- Decorating the outside of our house for Christmas-- This may or may not happen in the coming years, but so far it just isn't something we've seen as important.
- Buying each other presents-- We tried buying each other gifts our first year of marriage and decided it just wasn't for us. We've come to the conclusion that we enjoy experiences together much more than we do exchanging gifts, so we save our money for little getaways together throughout the year. It also gives us more freedom to focus on others during the holidays. Simply stated, it works for us.
- Sending out Christmas cards-- I love receiving Christmas cards, but the stress of sending them out isn't worth it for me during this season of my life. This is something we decide on year by year depending on how much Mama can handle.
- Hosting our own holiday party-- We do enjoy hosting small gatherings throughout the year, but we're intentional about not over-booking December. So far, hosting a holiday party just hasn't fit on the calendar.
- Making Santa Claus a part of our Christmas celebration-- I realize this is a very personal subject. Each family should make their own decisions regarding this matter. For us, it simply isn't consistent wth what we teach our children throughout the year about Christ and the true meaning of Christmas.
Wishing You A Simple, Joyful Holiday Season,