Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Christmas Season

Just a few thoughts now that it's December and my favorite holiday season . . .
  • Keep it simple and meaningful. Your kids will never remember the fancy seasonal decor you spent hours arranging, but they will remember the feeling you created. The one thing my little girls can't WAIT for me to dig out of the basement is the Nativity. That's why I love this picture so much - they will play with it for hours . . . rearranging the sheep, the shepherds, and taking the baby Jesus in and out of the manger countless times. Try to find a nativity set they can play with. We began collecting the 5" Fontanini pieces a few years ago and they are perfect for little hands. (You can find them at Modern Display).
  • Spend more time reading, baking, and singing with your children and less time dragging them through the mall.
  • Create traditions, but be spontaneous at the same time. If you don't do the exact same thing every year, it's ok, your kids will survive and they might even like doing something different.
  • Watch all the fun holiday specials that are on television right now - it's the only time during the year when the entire family can really watch a show together, so pull out the blankets, turn on the fire, and snuggle!
  • Keep gifts to a minimum. Ever since our children were tiny we've told them Santa will fill their stockings with some treats and bring ONE special gift, and Mom and Dad will have something for them under the tree as well. Besides books and clothes and a family gift (usually a game or something we can all do together) each year, that's all they are given. They are very careful in selecting that one item that means more to them than anything and it keeps those "lists" kids put together to a minimum :-).
  • Serve together - visit and sing for grandparents, put together gifts and food for a needy family or neighbor and deliver secretly as a family, or participate in a food or clothing drive together.
  • Set a deadline to have all the gifts wrapped, cards mailed, projects finished . . . so when the kids get out of school for Christmas vacation and the snow starts to fall you can get out and PLAY!
Relish the season, enjoy every minute, and take time to see the magic of Christmas through the eyes of your children.


joseph and brianna said...

Well said. I like that Santa only brings 1 special gift.. Makes it easier for me to spend less money on the little one.

Kristin said...

For someone with ADHD, you sure are organized. I think I have a headache just reading that list. I've been on a "I hate Christmas" kick for the last few years. Work, work, work. Seriously, I need to find some balance. Good list though, one of these years I will put it good use...

Kristi said...

Such great advice! I loved this post. I love and adore Christmas, and part of the magic for our family is transforming the house.... but it stops becoming fun and meaningful, it will get simplified. It's just not worth it.

Loved your other suggestions. I hope my kids will remember Christmas not only as beautiful and magical, but also as a meaningful time when they truly learned what it means to serve, give, and celebrate the birth of our Savior. TFS! :)

Michelle said...

Great advice! We've always done three gifts, like the gifts of the magi, but I'm thinking we need to figure out a way to transition to just one. I love the cute Christmas photos!

Julie said...

OK Kristin, it's my new goal this month to make you LOVE Christmas! First of all, you can't look at it as work (even if it :-) and don't overdo anything - like I said, SIMPLE! Oh, and I think I'm more organized than I let on . . . just don't look through the cupboards ;-).

sandi said...


I love your blog! Even though I am a disgruntled Mormon, I wept through your testimony and just about everything else I have read from you tonight. You are a beautiful woman. I would give my right boob to have your faith!

I have loved reconnecting with all you dear people! Thank you for a fun night on your blog!

Michelle said...

Hey Julie,
I just found your blog and I loved reading about you & your darling family! Thanks for a great post about Christmas! So many times when I get overwhelmed about my "to do" list, I have to keep reminding myself that I'm building Christmas memories for my kids to draw from when they have families of their own!
And I LOVE that Santa gives only 1 gift. Santa has gotten way too much credit at our house for some pretty amazing presents in the past!