Free Christmas Traditions to Start This Year
We’ve been gradually working through the KonMari method of decluttering, and things are ever so sloooowly coming together. Blame the toddler for my lack of efficiency 😉 I’m getting there.
Since clearing out probably half of our stuff, I’m hyper-aware of what comes into the house. But the holidays are coming, and we’re not the gatekeepers when it comes to gifts from the extended family. Based on how Christmas has been since the kids came along, I can predict with a high level of certainty that any decluttering progress we’ve made will take a few giant steps back.
The consumerist influence of the season – I’d skip it altogether if it were up to me. But it’s not my place to put the brakes on others buying things if it makes them happy. (Or, if they think it does. I have my doubts.)
So, my kids will get gifts, and I’m okay with that. But I see it as my job to balance the gift mindset with non-materialistic memories of the holidays. This is where traditions come in.
We could grab traditions from our ancestry – for example, our grandparents are Italian so we can take a crack at the Feast of the Seven Fishes. But with little kids in the house I know some of these traditions can be a bit much. If we decided to go turbo Italian, we’re looking at a seven-course meal right up against Midnight Mass? We wanted good memories, right? Instead, we have some simpler memory-making traditions to try, at least until the youngest develops a little more impulse control.
Each family member has a jar with his or her own name on it. Each family member gets one slip of paper for every other family member, and they write down what each person has accomplished this year and slips it into their jar. Together, we open our own jars and read aloud what our families wrote about us. The jars are emptied once we’ve shared our own accomplishments, and we can start dropping accomplishments into our family members’ jars all year to be read at the end of next year.
The holidays can be really rough for people who are trying to get through a tough season. Why not do what we can do to inject some positivity into their rough patch? You can gather up the kids and work a dinner shift at a soup kitchen, pack shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child, make cards for troops overseas, or get a group together to decorate cookies at the nursing home.
Sometimes, it’s hard to get kids to understand how good we have it. Seeing how others spend their holidays can give us all perspective.
Christmas movie night
My kids are at just the right age to snort laugh at Home Alone, and I couldn’t wait to turn it on this year. We got out our sleeping bags, popped some popcorn tossed with melted white chocolate and crushed oreos, and had a memorable night that they’re still talking about weeks later. Christmas comedy movie night is going down in the books as a must-do every December.
Slumber party under the tree
Am I right in saying that small children love to sleep anywhere except their beds? Grab those sleeping bags from movie night, shake out the popcorn as best you can, and drag them to the tree. Snuggle up with extra pillows, read The Night Before Christmas and let them drift off to soft holiday classics streaming on Amazon Prime. They’ll remember things like this.
Holidays are just another thing we need to be intentional about so we’re not swept up in the tide. Shifting the focus from the buy buy buy mentality takes a little effort, but it’s the stuff memories are made of.