Sunday, December 16, 2012

simple Christmas.

i've wrestled with this post, because i don't want to offend, or make people think i look down on them. i just keep thinking "different strokes..."

it's just every day, as we get closer to Christmas, in my newsfeed there are posts about what people bought their kids and what extravagant gift is on their wishlist.

i have no problem with wanting nice things, my issue comes with the flaunting.

so, with that said, why not flaunt how we appreciate and celebrate a simple Christmas...and still have a happy child at the end of the day. :)

i come from a bigger family. for the longest time we all bought each other gifts and exchanged. then nieces and nephews came and filled the room too. it got to be a little much and too hard on some of us financially. we also felt like it took away from the real Reason for Christmas.

so one year we decided to draw names. that way we were giving a more meaningful gift and not taking home a bunch of "junk."

later it evolved to a guys and girls gift exchange. the men started a tradition last year to bring a favorite six pack and do a grab bag.

the girls draw names and pick a handmade theme. this year whatever we make has to fit in a mason jar.

since the littles are growing we have them draw names too. they get excited to shop for one cousin, and it saves us all a lot of money.

for one of our other family Christmases we decided years ago to bring a donation instead of a gift. we've donated to many charities that impacted us that year. when levi was sick we donated to a prune belly syndrome one, when delia came we kept her in mind, and this year, after news of our uncle we are donating to a msa charity.

for the kids we started doing things that would fill memories, not toyboxes. last year we made gingerbread houses and sent off paper lanterns into the sky.

as for our immediate family. well, it's pretty obvious to those that know us that we are "those" parents. i joke about it, but i really don't mind being labeled that way. green, crunchy, old school, simple, crazy, annoying...i'll take the label.

eliza's first Christmas she was 3 months, so she wouldn't know if she got many gifts. after that we were in korea, and knew she'd be overwhelmed with gifts from home (thank you!) and then it just seemed like the right thing to keep up.

last year i saw on pinterest the idea of giving your children something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read.

i thank God for the blessings in our life. as i tried to figure out what she needed i was at a loss. i mean, she needs a bedroom, but that's not practical right now. she needs new underwear, but who wants that under the tree? i finally came up with something, but i sat there thinking "there has to be something, but i really don't know what." when you think about others in need, and look around your house and see blessings, it's hard to find something. (she's getting a big girl hooded towel, simple because fawn will be taking up some of the baby ones!)

those are the gifts from santa. we do fill stockings, and then james and i each pick out a gift for eliza. i like seeing what he picks for her and it's nice to just have one special gift to pick.

i'm happy that when this Christmas rolled around, she was unaware of who santa was. he isn't our focus. it's not on the commercialization, it's on a special Baby, and she surely knows who that is. thanks to her bible book, sunday school, and the songs she's been practicing non stop.

i'm not saying this is the right way, but it definitely is the right way for us. i'm happy to keep her toys simple, spend a little more on quality sustainable toys, and not something she'll forget about before she finishes unwrapping everything. i want her to value what she has, and not expect or demand a bunch.

simple Christmas. simple focus.

His coming, our family, memories.


The Fronckowiaks said...

<3 I keep telling mike I want to do the same (want, need, read, etc). He's not game for that. Maybe next year. I started to go overboard and had to reel myself in. I still feel they probably got WAY too much. 😳

jackie said...

Love this, Shel. And I love even more simple, steady, relaxed, and intentional Christmases. :)

ashley said...

i like it! sounds sweet...and familiar! joseph and i each pick out a surprise book for our little man.

Nicolasa @ {My}Perspective said...

I love this and would love to do similar things for our family.

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