Every year, since I was a little girl there are things I like to do to plan for Christmas. Growing up and into my adulthood I took a lot of those traditions with me. Now, as a parent myself I am passing those tradition down to my own children as much as we are making new ones together as a family.
Our Christmas preparations start the day after Thanksgiving where we dust off all the decorations and pull them from their cobwebs in the loft. We have Christmas carols screaming throughout the house while we get to the task of putting the Christmas tree up.
Once the tree is up the kids love helping me put various Christmas paraphernalia all over the house in every room, on every shelf, and hanging something off of every door handle. I am absolutely in love with Christmas decorations so there isn’t a room that isn’t sprinkled with Christmas magic.
As the kids get older they are getting more and more involved in the Christmas festivities. They love help setting up and decorating the house as much as they love their book advent calendars. Each year, I wrap ‘a book a day’ up for their advent calendar to share and before bed they get to open one to read as their bedtime story. I like these stories to be about the magic of Christmas to spread the festive feelings all month long.
I think the best part of the holiday season, for the kids, of course is to see the big jolly man himself. We usually get tickets to go on a sleigh ride through a park or a city to meet up with Santa and say our hello’s and thank you’s. Last year was really the first year B understand there was as Santa Clause and we were in Center Parcs for it. It truly was a winter wonderland experience. This year we have booked a sleigh ride from our local park through our town to the city center to meet Mr Clause. I think I am just as excited as they are for it.
Unlike any other part of the year, Christmas brings on as much joy as it does pressure. I think sometimes we can get wrapped up into the commercial side of the holiday and not realize how much we are spending. I used to spend a fortune on presents for my family and friends, christmas decorations, going out for christmas meals and celebrations, and more. Since having kids it’s made me realize none of that really matters. I want to pass the true meaning of Christmas onto my children excuse the cliche, but it’s true. I would never want them to go in debt for the sake of a holiday. So I hope they will take notes from their momma because I start planning for Christmas in September.
When September strikes I get organized. I put a little money away for each child and a little away for hubby. Then I make my entire shopping list with prices and where I am going to buy listed item for each person so I know how to budget and look out for sales leading up to December. Hello Black Friday & Cyber Monday sales! I buy wrapping paper the day after Christmas the year before and Christmas cards when they are dirt cheap for the next year so that’s always taken care of ahead of time. It shouldn’t be stressful or breaking the bank account.
In our family we only buy the kids one large present and a few little things for their stocking stuffers. This way they play longer with the one toy they were given and it doesn’t get tossed aside so easily for the next one. They seem to love it and appreciate it more too. We did this growing up and it’s one of the traditions I hope to pass on. It’s not about how many presents we get at Christmas time but who we spend it with!
*collaboration with TSB