It’s a magical time of year isn’t it?
It’s the month that marks the end of one year and the gateway to a whole new year full of new and interesting possibilities. It’s a time to reflect on the last 12 months and to make goals and resolutions moving forward. It’s really a time of personal reflection for me where I can look back and go-over both the ups and downs 2016 handed us.
This time of year is also marked with established holiday traditions for many people. We’ve got a few such as not eating meat on Christmas eve and going to midnight mass but above and beyond that we’ve really haven’t built any solid family traditions – especially kid friendly ones. Now that Margs is here, Mer and I feel compelled to start establishing some – things that Margs can look forward to as she grows up.
We’re not big on gift giving in this house. We tend to buy each other a small something or other just so that we can have something to open on Christmas morning – I think last year we set a 10$ maximum. Mer got me a new electric toothbrush and I bought him a set of drill bits. We were both super excited about our gifts because we geek out on stuff like that.
But, how do you find a balance between wanting to give your kid a magical Christmas and not giving in to materialism and sticking to your minimalist goals? The idea of my kid growing up and going to school and telling her friends that Santa brought her nothing because momma doesn’t like to clutter the house makes me anxious. A discussion ensued between Mer and I and I think we’ve come up with a compromise that we’re comfortable with.
This is what we’re planning to do:
Santa will bring Me, Margs and Mer one gift each on Christmas morning. The gifts will be found on the front porch in a family Santa bag that I’m working on. I have some real issues with the notion we feed our kids about Santa (technically a complete stranger) wiggling down the fireplace (we don’t have one anyway) and dropping off presents in the middle of the night. In our house, Santa will leave presents on the front porch. Mer and I will buy for Margs while Mer and I will buy for each other.
We’ll buy each other 2 stocking stuffers each which will be the “presents” from mom to baby and dad to baby and baby to mom and dad. Confusing right? We figure that we want Margs to understand that Christmas is a time of gift giving beyond what Santa brings you and to keep costs down and because none of us really needs anything we’ll keep things simple and gift each other stocking stuffers. Edible goodies are on my wish list this year!
Preparing a large bag of non-perishables to donate to a local food bank. Last week food basket collection bags were delivered to each home in our neighborhood (this is new to us – where we used to live this didn’t happen) and we’re really exited to make Margs part of the process and to continue donating yearly. We have until the 14th of December to load up our bag with food items, hygiene products and any baby stuff we have laying around. I’m excited to make this an ongoing part of our holiday traditions.
How do you manage to stick to your minimalist beliefs during the holiday season? If you’ve got kids, how do you handle Christmas and gift giving?