I asked Son #4 for a blog idea. I am not good yet at planning ahead for my posts.
(Even after 2 years of Blogging now!!! Can you believe it’s been 2 WHOLE years??!!!)
As a result, I am finding myself in need of blog ideas…. Last minute of course. He had some good ideas. I found myself awake last night creating a long list of blog titles that I may use as a regular weekly feature, off of his and another’s ideas. This time I did indeed write them down!!
Just a few more days til Christmas! No I still do not have my shopping done. Hopefully, tomorrow or the weekend, with all the other crazy people last minute shopping. Sounds like fun doesn’t it?? NO it really doesn’t. Maybe I will just put it off til Monday. No one will still be shopping then!! Hopefully..
By the way, I did try taking some pictures of my decorations to post here. Let’s just say, I will try again another day.
Ok- 9 ways to keep the Merry in Christmas.
- Eliminate as much of the extras as you possibly can. Yes, I know there are TONS of things we could all be doing. Schooling, sporting events. Christmas cookie baking, decorating, buying and making presents. I have not done a Christmas card or picture in years. I know that I probably should, just to update people. And I really do enjoy getting cards from longtime friends. Don’t get me wrong, I like them and love the idea. For me, it was just one of those things that I decided to eliminate from my life to keep things simpler.
- Purchase some of your items in the after Christmas sales for the next Christmas. Most things will not expire or go bad over the course of the year and some of the food things that do, can be frozen in your freezer until the next year. I have been known to keep candy bought in the after Christmas sales in the freezer for the next years St. Nick night. (For those of you who do not know, St. Nick is celebrated the night of Dec. 5th when good kids get candy and some small presents in honor of St. Nicholas. You can read a little about it here.) Thanks to my Aunt for that tip.
- Gather the family together and go drive around the neighborhoods to look at Christmas decorations. Stop for a hot chocolate treat along the way, or take travel mugs with your own. Or find other ways to enjoy each others company.
- Set a budgeted amount and stick to it. I usually write everything out in a notebook to try to help me keep track of who has what and how much I have spent so that I keep things in order and also know how much I have spent. I talked to one friend who actually has a spreadsheet her husband made up. Brilliant!! Keep in mind extra expenses do sneak up so try to plan for those as well.
- A few years back, the kids decided to do a gift exchange instead of buying or making gifts for each one of their siblings. It works well for us and has simplified my life immensely!!! They love doing the name exchange and the younger ones start talking about who they hope to buy for already in October. I give them each a set amount and they figure out what they want to get for each, then we go shopping.
- Have a few extra gifts hidden away, just in case. It’s always a good idea because sometimes someone gets forgotten despite all my lists and checking them twice. And then twice more…
- Create your own traditions. What is it that you and your spouse would like to do to make the holiday meaningful for your own family? What is important to you??
- Make memories. Take time to enjoy each other. Make Christmas cookies together or maybe the Christmas dinner. My oldest son made an amazing French Onion Soup for us one year. He now makes it almost every year. Go Christmas shopping together-nothing says family like taking 9 kids to Target right before Christmas to buy their exchange gifts for each other. That is a fun memory for us all.
- I know your family is crazy. I know my family is crazy. I know you have in laws and siblings and parents and aunts and uncles and extended family that drive you nuts. It’s the way it is and just embrace it. Relax and don’t stress about it. It happens every year and every year is the same thing. Figure out how YOU can change your pattern of reaction and then let it go and just enjoy the holiday.
Most importantly, I think anyways, is to take some time each day to just get quiet and Thank God for what you do have. Be grateful for the many blessings you already have and that you get to celebrate His Son’s birth by sharing gifts with those around you.
What do you do to keep things simple for you around the holidays??
Have a very Merry Christmas!!