Is it just me or is Christmas hurtling towards us like a smurf in a cannon-ball?
Are you already buying, budgeting, decorating and buying some more?
Feeling your chest constrict a little as you figure out how many presents you will be able to get for your kids, friends and family?
How elaborate your festivities will be, to ensure they are bigger and better than ever?
Anyone feel like they have already set the bar too high?
I have been taking my girls window-shopping, trying to get hints for their wish-list. Not so easy when it changes every week.
They are overwhelmed with choice and influenced by snippets of commercials, their friends, and in-store merchandising.
The marketers of the world have done an outstanding job of creating desires for shiny things and services. Stuff that didn’t even exist a generation ago.
It seems natural to want to offer the world to our children and take on too much ourselves. But in our efforts to make christmas a truly special occasion, it’s easy to lose sight of what’s really important.
When I asked my kidlets what the best thing about last christmas was, they mentioned putting out cookies and carrots for santa and his reindeer, meeting an uncle for the first time and experiencing the christmas lights at one of the near-by churches.
Sure they loved getting presents, but they don’t remember what they got last year. They do remember who was there.
Christmas preparations can be as simple or as complicated as you allow them to be.
Here are five quick tips for a fun and simple christmas:
Focus on the best and cut down on the rest
Making time for family and friends is what’s really important to us.
Shopping, decorating, baking, cooking and cleaning are generally part of the christmas equation, but when its starts crowding out the good time feelings; that’s an indicator that you have done too much.
Figure out what is really important to your family and stick to it. Don’t be influenced by what other people are doing. This is your christmas!
If you are feeling flummoxed as to whether you should or shouldn’t do something, ask yourself if “this” aligns with the vision you had for christmas. If it does, do it and if it doesn’t, drop it!
We all know we should be consuming less but it’s so easy to succumb to that self-imposed pressure to meet certain expectations when it comes to gift buying.
Make a plan and stick to it. Don’t rack up credit card debt when you know it’s just going to get your New Years off to a crappy start!
In our family we have a rule that each child can expect one present from Santa and that anything else is a bonus. Some years we have foregone gifts for adults in extended family, because it would have placed unnecessary financial burden either on ourselves or others. Has it mattered? Nope!
Get crafty and have fun
My extent of getting crafty goes as far as making subtle Beastie Boy references; but there are some amazing mummies who do christmas crafts in style!
Making stuff with your kids is a fun thing to do and life is supposed to be fun!
Those homemade christmas pom-poms your kids created? Yeah they may be disastrously ugly, but you will pull them out every christmas for years to come with a cheesy grin!
Need some ideas?
It’s a beautiful blog to visit and I guarantee you will leave with fresh ideas and a bottle of christmas spirit!
Get your traditions on
If christmas is about making memories, it’s also about creating traditions. Do you go to church christmas morning, or have a pre-christmas barbecue with the neighbors?
Do you have a particular Santa story that is required reading in the lead up to the big day?
Whenever you make a habit of doing something at christmas time, you are in effect, creating your own christmas magic.
The little moments that will be stored away with the tinsel and retrieved every year. The ones that attach meaning to the event.
So, put some thought into it. What message do you want your kids to take away from christmas? How do you want them to feel when they recall christmas memories?
Create your own simple christmas rituals now and you will soon have your own traditions that get passed down for years to come.
Have some he he he with your ho ho ho
Even with the best of intentions, christmas can be stressful. Favourite ornaments get broken. The christmas tree that you labored over for three hours gets pulled down in one minute.
Uncle Rob gets an early start on the beers and begins making crude jokes round the five-year olds….
Accept the possibility of annoyances and make a decision not to let it get to you. Simple as that.
Focus on the fun bits and have a laugh!
Have a christmas vision as a starting point and stick to it. Keep christmas in line with your family values and your pocket and don’t try to be all things to everyone.