Making Christmas more like Thanksgiving
Every year, it seems like it's easy to make Thanksgiving meaningful and simple.
Christmas is a different story.
Every year I wrestle with how to make Christmas as delicious and precious as Thanksgiving. How to keep it focused on our blessings and our abundance. I want our children to have warm memories of this time and yet I want to stay sane and keep it simple.
Between the nonstop wants that emanate from my oldest child, the internal pressure to get it all "right", the desire and guilt about wanting to spend time with EVERYONE, it feels like an uphill battle.
Unfortunately, many of the things that feel like they would make Christmas meaningful are most decidedly NOT simple. "I know! This year I'll MAKE everyone a present!" (Because I have so much free time?!) "I know! This year we'll make multiple batches of several Christmas cookies from both sides of the family! It's our heritage!" (And our heritage will take all my time and patience and leave the girls hopped up on sugar and us needing a whole new wardrobe to accommodate our new bellies). "I know! Let's forget presents this year and hide under the covers!"
So we're doing what we always do: we're taking baby steps in the right direction, hoping that as we get closer, we'll get faster and the way will get clearer.
This year, we found a little farm right outside of town and cut down our own tree. They had horses and hot chocolate and we froze our tails off. It was a far cry from getting our tree from a vacant lot in LA and it felt like we were getting a little closer.
We walked into our little downtown on Saturday and watched the holiday parade. Cub scouts handed out candy canes and shivering beauty queens waved and Z and E danced to the marching band playing Feliz Navidad and we felt a lot closer to what we wanted for our girls around Christmas.
CG's family is only doing stocking stuffers for the adults so that we can all pitch in and donate a lump sum to a charity that was close to my father-in-law's heart. That feels clear and right.
We will sit down with Z this weekend and let her chose which charity to donate the money that has been accruing every week in her "charity" piggy bank. She will also pick out and buy a present for her sister from her "gifts" piggy bank. That's getting closer and closer.
What about you? What brings you closer to the kind of Christmas you want for your family?