Christmas is mine and Aaron’s favorite holiday (with Thanksgiving being a very close 2nd), and now that we have a one year old, our desires for how we focus our time during this season has become a topic of conversation and I wanted to share with you what we’re doing (and plan on continuing). We hope it will encourage you to maybe evaluate your own schedule during this season and perhaps even start making some adjustments.
For starters, we asked ourselves what we want this 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 – celebrating Jesus’s birthday? Without hesitation, we quickly decided we wanted Christmas to be about Christ, so we simplified the season. All that means is we’ve filtered everything through the lens of “will this help us celebrate Christ’s Birthday” and “will this allow us to focus on building relationships with friends / family?” Basically, if something will cause us stress in any way or make us so busy that we look back and don’t know where the holiday went, we don’t do it. You can think of this as being proactive not reactive (which is a “motto” we hold 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 5 years of our relationship, we have traveled (out of the state) on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. Although those were choices we made based on the season of life we were in at the time, we look back on those traveling hours used on Christmas and we never want to repeat that again! So now that we have kids, we’ve made it a rule that we don’t travel on Christmas. We welcome friends and family visiting us, but it is important to our family that we are home for the holiday.
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! We’d much rather get a seasons pass somewhere and enjoy outings together as a family. Books & PJ’s / clothes are also great! We’re not against toys for our children, but we don’t want our kids to have a lot of them. 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 before moving on to the next so that on Christmas Day it’s not all about gifts. I love that and am considering doing that when Rylie is a little older and can understand (I’m thinking 3 years old!?).
All that to say, I hope what our family has begun to put into practice this Christmas season has given you some food for thought and might prompt some adjustments in your own family.
Enjoy this season my friend! After all, it is all about the birth of our King 😉