Saturday, December 11, 2010

Day 11: 12 Days of Christmas Sharing

Today I am going to share our Christmas traditions.Our traditions evolved from an idea that I completely and 100% stole from a friend and neighbor, but hey, isn't that where most ideas come from anyway? Others? ha ha.
So, here is how we "do" Christmas:
First off....our kids get three gifts from us for Christmas.

They get 1. something they want, 2. something they need, and 3. something for the family to enjoy together.  That's the part I stole from my neighbor/friend.  When she told me their way of keeping Christmas small and meaningful, I LOVED the idea!  Every year since we started doing this, it has been a true joy on Christmas to take our time, focus on Christ, celebrate Him, and enjoy our time together. Before adopting this tradition our living room was starting to look more and more like a toy store on Christmas morning.  It was truly out of hand and hard to keep up.  3 gifts have meaning (of course like three gifts Christ received), and no matter the economy or circumstances....3 gifts can be bought pretty easily, ha ha.  And they don't notice a difference in Christmas each year.  You'll have to tune in after Christmas Day to see what the three gifts they get this year will be! :) Here's my post from our first year doing the three gift tradition! Corey and I actually got gifts for each other that year, ha ha...that definitely doesn't happen every Christmas!
Oh, and we started doing three gifts about the time they would have noticed a change, so there have been no big "explanations" needed in why Christmas changed from toy store to 3 gifts, ha ha.
They get spoiled on their birthdays instead of Christmas.  Because birthdays are all about *them* right? :)

 Very early on after having kids I struggled with the idea of doing the whole Santa thing.  Growing up, we definitely believed in Santa.  But for some reason I just didn't like the idea of it and just felt silly even starting to pretend it with them when they were tiny.  Then another friend shared with me that her family never told her and her sisters that Santa was a current real person, but they pretended Santa.  What kid doesn't like pretending?!
I loved the idea and got my husband to reluctantly agree.  I got the book pictured above which explains a little about the history of St. Nicholas.  He would give gifts to people secretly, without expectation of the favor being returned.  In this light, ANYONE can pretend to be a Santa and give to others in secret.  This is how we "do" Santa.  They pretend.  We pretend, and remember that St. Nicholas was a God-loving man who desired to give to others out of love for God.  And no one has to lie about it. ha ha. The kids really love it, and Katie may as well actually believe as good a job as she does pretending.  She loves imaginary and pretend things anyway.

Their "Santa" gifts come in a giant stocking.  This was the compromise with the husband, so that "Santa" can still be a great gift giver of secret surprises!  These usually have 3-4 bigger (like dvds, Barbie dolls, DS games, board games) gifts, and then the rest typical little stocking stuffers.  It may be considered cheating on the whole they only get three gifts thing, but it's a compromise that works for us and they still get to enjoy the mystery and fun of Santa Claus.

As part of our Christmas celebrating, we now have the advent tradition that will be part of Christmas Day, the nativity scavenger hunt, and we always have a birthday party for Jesus as well.  We also usually watch a new Christmas movie together as a family.  The focus of the Day is celebrating Jesus coming to earth as a baby and the reason we are celebrating is because of that.  The reason we are giving gifts is in remembrance of His birth. And the reason behind Santa is to be generous in giving to others as well, without expectation of repayment.

Oh, and the kids have gotten old enough to notice think that Mommy and Daddy need gifts at home for Christmas...we usually don't get ourselves anything for our home celebration.  That truly is a concern for they have decided they need to go shopping for us for things we want. You will want to tune in for the report on how that goes!  We each made a wish list of things that they could shop for....and Corey's list includes cheese crackers and bacon. ha ha ha.

What are your Christmas Day traditions?

1 comment:

Karen said...

I love how your family does this....