Thursday, December 24, 2009

Bringing Christmas Basics Back

It's CHRISTMAS EVE! It still doesn't feel like this year is nearly over, let alone Christmas EVE! I still can't believe it, even as I type...
Going back to basics may come about for your family for a variety of reasons this year - no matter the reason for doing it, I hope these tips might help you have a very Merry Christmas by bringing some of the Christmas Basics back!

Firstly, SLOW DOWN and enjoy these two days. Now with the kids, I find myself running late all the time and I get frazzled about it because I was always the one on time in the past! Christmas should be a time to be enjoyed, not to be running around like a mad woman! This year, I have not gone out to the stores for Christmas presents - I ordered the items I wanted to buy online so that I didn't have to step foot into the madness, and the other items I made here at home like THESE purse bags for my girlfriends!

Stockings - Instead of trying to fill them with candy and trinkets, another idea is to fill them with breakfast foods like bananas and baggies full of your child's favorite cereal, or other item they can snack on in the morning. That way, the kids have something to go straight for when they wake up instead of coming straight to Mommy and Daddy's room, jumping on the bed and dragging you out with your bathrobe string dragging behind you! When they are finished eating their breakfast snacks, then they can come wake you up! Plus, that way, you don't have to make the breakfast!

Presents - Maybe it's to save a little money, or maybe it's to get "back to basics": limit the gifts to a certain amount per child. 3 is a great number because you can teach about the 3 wise men giving Baby Jesus 3 gifts on his birthday, CHRISTMAS - the true reason we give gifts on, and celebrate this day! HERE is a link to free downloadable gifts in a jar for your other family members - make the gifts simple, yet meaningful!

Dinner - Don't stress over the cooking - make it a potluck if you don't do this already! Each family member brings a dish, and the host is only responsible for the main dish (like the Turkey, Ham, or Tofurky - there are some coupons HERE - click down at the bottom of their page!). Another great tradition you can start is to focus on locally-produced ingredients - check out my post HERE about my girls night dinner where we did this! Set the mood with some Christmas music in the background - there are a TON of free MP3 downloads HERE at Amazon!

Family - Try not to focus on the gifts, although it is a really fun aspect of Christmas. This doesn't necessarily mean that you have to downsize the gift itself, but downsize the whole gift event so that the focus of Christmas is not on the gifts, but on the family! Relax and play games with the 'fam after dinner rather than go straight to the gifts. Or, even send the gifts home with the family members rather than opening them there at grandma's house. To cut down on cost and craziness, we draw names with our family at Grandpa's house so we only have to buy one gift, and we can focus on getting something meaningful, rather than the fall-back plan of buying bath soaps and cologne! Maybe you can do a Christmas craft together - crafts are fun for us big kids too! HERE are some free crafts in this downloadable Christmas crafts book!

Kids - Christmas crafts like the ones in this FREE downloadable Christmas crafts for kids book (click HERE to go to the site) can have multiple benefits: it can keep the kids occupied so you can get things done + it can provide a teaching opportunity for learning about Christmas + the kids can create a gift for Grandma/Grandpa, or other family member + it's just fun! Another fun activity is decorating cookies - nothing is more cute than Frosty the Snowman with 3 eyes, rainbow snow, and candy buttons on every part of his body - not to mention the Rudolf cookie missing a head. Don't forget your letter to Santa, cookies and milk!

Giving Back - Option 1 - donate food, resources or money to a charitable organization. The Oregon Food Bank and the Sunshine Division are two in our area that collects food and distributes it to those in need. Option 2 - donate your time to a charitable organization. You could do this in addition to, or even instead of your Christmas dinner! You can volunteer behind the scenes (like sorting donated food) or on the front lines, actually distributing food! You can also go to a "soup kitchen" and help serve the food to the homeless! What a great way for you and your older children to do something together for the "greater good"! Our 2 youngest are not old enough for this yet, but we have brought my husband's older daughter along with us to the Sunshine Division, and she was very humbled by some of the homes we visited to deliver food.

What do you do to bring the basics back to Christmas Eve or Christmas day?

If I don't post anything tomorrow,
MERRY CHRISTMAS from our family to yours!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Leave a comment... I'd love to hear your ideas!