Christmas is the favorite holiday in my house (with Thanksgiving being a very close second), and now that we have a one-year-old, our desires for how we focus our time during the holiday season has become more specific. It’s been a month since the beloved holiday, and I want to share with you what we did (and plan on continuing) and encourage you to maybe evaluate your own holiday traditions, and perhaps even start making some adjustments for 2018 holidays — to focus more on Jesus, and less on ourselves.
For starters, we asked ourselves what we want the Christmas season to be for our family — do we want it to be overbooked, frantic, and “commercial” (focusing on gifts) OR do we want to focus on the real reason for the season and celebrate Jesus’s birthday?
My husband and I quickly decided we wanted Christmas simplified. All that means is we decided that we wanted the Christmas season in our family to be focused on Jesus’s birth and time with those we love – not commercialism or stress. Every decision we’ve made this season has been centered around those two things. You can think of this as being proactive not reactive (which is a “motto” we’ve held to throughout all areas of our life — work, school, our marriage, parenting, etc.).
Second, we’ve made it a rule that we will not travel on Christmas.
For the last five years of our relationship we have traveled (out of the state) on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day and to be honest, we hated it! So now that we have kids, we’ve made it a rule that we don’t travel on Christmas. If family wants to visit us, that’s 100% fine and we welcome that – but it is important to us that we are home for the holidays.
Finally, Aaron and I are not huge fans of just getting stuff because it makes the tree look cool, overflowing with wrapped boxes.
We’d much rather get practical gifts that we can use over and over. Experiences are huge to us as well – we’d much rather get a seasons pass somewhere and enjoy outings together as a family then a toy that will sit in the toybox and not add any real value to our kids development.
One thing a couple I follow on social media started this year, is they give the kids a gift every day in the month of December so the children have time to be thankful and appreciate THAT toy/thing before moving on to the next, so on Christmas Day it’s not all about gifts. I love that and am considering doing that when our daughter is a little older and can understand.
You don’t have to do it exactly like my family does, but I hope it gave you some food for thought and might prompt some “changes” you’ll make this year.