Hi Friends! Over the years I’ve called my Christmas home decor ‘simple’, ‘minimalistic’, etc. I don’t like a lot of fuss - not over the holidays or in our every day life. But it got me thinking there’s got to be a way to simplify beyond the decor, too! Celebrating Christmas with little ones can get chaotic and out of control fast. I’ve had this pull on my heart to simplify not just our home, but the way we celebrate, too. Careful not to read that wrong - I don’t want to celebrate Christmas less, just simplify it. More emphasis on less things, if that makes sense. Gifts are a really fun way to celebrate that Jesus was born for what would be the greatest act of love in history, and I love the opportunity to give gifts as an expression of our joy and gratitude. But they don’t need to occupy so much mind and heart space as they have for me in recent years. It can get stressful fast!
When we got together with our small group from church to pack shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child, a lightbulb went off! Here is the list that was attached to each box:
I love this outlined structure and it got us thinking about making our own for celebrating Christmas with our kids! Here is what we came up with:
Wow - One really special item the kids most want. We asked them each to give this some thought and write it down
Special surprises - A couple of smaller items that have either come up in conversation or we’ve thought of on our own as something they’d really enjoy, (doll clothes, race cars, cozy blanket, special mug, etc)
Game/Book - This is especially relevant in the dead of winter when outdoor time decreases
Experience - Matt and I rarely get one-on-one time with our kids, especially not him and I together with each kid, so we want to take each kid out on a date together. Ideas include a movie, ice skating, favorite museum, hike - we’ll give each kid an envelope on Christmas morning with an invitation for a date with Mom and Dad. I think I’m most excited about this one!
Winter Pjs - I love finding fun pajamas that are relevant to each of their interests/personalities!
Creativity - Our kids really, really love creating things. They are always in the middle of making something, and this has gone on literally for years. Things like construction paper, markers crayons, tape, and craft scissors always get used up fast! Christmas is a great opportunity to replenish their supply!
Christmas shopping has been a lot less stressful so far, and a whole lot more enjoyable! Oh! And a huge part of preparing our hearts, (and home), for the season is cleaning out and donating old toys! Every November I ask the kids to commit an hour to going through their toys/books and bagging up what they have lost interest in. And when they’re on the fence about something I know they haven’t touched in a while, I try to redirect their focus to the kid that would have the opportunity to enjoy that item next. I don’t think it’s such a bad thing to practice making tough decisions about what to keep and what to part with. I’ve seen the show Hoarding: Buried Alive. LOL!
Maybe you already have your own gift-giving structure, or maybe this is helpful! We’re trying it for the first time this year and I’m already feeling a lot more peace about shopping for gifts than I have before.
However you celebrate I hope you enjoy these next few weeks! There can be so much pressure on creating that perfect Christmas morning that this month between Thanksgiving and Christmas goes by in a blur. Give yourself permission to slow it down. No one but you will notice what you don’t get done, and that’s a truth I need to remind myself of often!
Thank you so much for stopping by today!