Christmas; The most festive and magical time of the year. I always loved this holiday and everything that it represents for many, many reasons. Now that I have a daughter of my own, especially as she gets older, Christmas has taken on a whole new spin and I love it even more! Having her really leaves me reminiscing about when I was a little girl and all of the fun traditions my family had. Opening one gift (that would always be special Christmas PJ’s) on Christmas Eve with my sister surrounded by family was one of my favorites!
When I look at Christmas today, and I am just as guilty as the rest, it looks a hell of a lot different than it did when I was knee-high to a grasshopper. Things have changed. Money has become the main event to a show none of us were invited to. Christmas just seems like a race to see who can spend the most money and I’ve had enough! This year, I am doing things differently. I will teach my daughter the importance of family, giving and joy. Fortunately for me, she is still at the age where money means nothing and all she is asking Santa for is a yo-yo.. I honestly don’t even think she knows what a yo-yo is.
So after chatting for countless hours with my sister and doing a little online research, I have compiled what I think will make a great Christmas for my family and me that will take Christmas back to its roots and BONUS, it won’t break the bank! There are so many amazing ideas out there that I just can’t help but share.
One thing that I found was this amazing photo that was floating around on Facebook relating to what to buy your children for Christmas. It really puts a lot of meaning to the items that you purchase, and keep in mind that you don’t have to purchase ALL of these items, but it is a great starting point!
Another thing that is just plain ridiculous is stocking stuffers! I admit, I love my stocking and I also love stuffing them for my husband, parents and daughter but those baby’s get EX-PEN-SIVE! Luckily, I found this online and it’s actually a decent list! A lot of us tend to go overboard with items in our stockings but the reality is we don’t need $20 gift cards and $25 DVD’s in them! Think back to when children got an orange, an apple and some hard candy! And they were so excited because it wasn’t what the items were; it was the excitement of getting a visit from Santa and showing it off to your friends and family!
So we got the gift giving covered, what about the really fun stuff? Spending time with family, and creating memories! Now THAT is what it’s all about! One fun thing we are doing this year, is instead of going out and spending a fortune on tree ornaments, we are making them! There is nothing more fun and easy than construction paper garland!
My daughter and I made some for our doorway for Thanksgiving and it was a hit! It added a cozy, welcoming vibe to my kitchen and we plan to do the same for our Christmas tree! Popcorn and cranberries, cinnamon dough gingerbread men and dried out fruit are among the list of homemade decorations we will all be making together as a family this year.
Choose an afternoon, invite close friends and family over, put on some hot chocolate and make a day of it! Involve the kids and have them help each other, too! The best part is that the end product will be on display for all to see! Their work will be the centerpiece of the room all throughout the holidays! This will teach team work and create confidence, not to mention the great memories you will make!
So what about creating a tradition of your own with your kids? Something fun, simple and cheap yet really memorable and something that you can carry on for years to come.
Well, one of my personal favorites, are the cute little items that you can make to help Santa and his reindeer find their way to your house, to keep their bellies full and to ward off any non-believers. Of course there is the classic “milk & cookies” for Santa. I love that and it will always be included in my family traditions! But what about “Reindeer Food” and “Grinch Dust”? Check these out:
Grinch Dust: I used green sprinkles (you can also use green food color and sugar), a Ziploc bag and made my own label. Before bed, have your little one sprinkle the dust outside! So fun!
Reindeer Food: For this I just used Quick Oats and the same green sprinkles, a Ziploc bag and my own label! We left them out on the doorstep for the reindeer so they had a full belly and energy to make it to the rest of the children’s houses!