What kind of holidays are you hoping for? I love the holidays. The joy of giving, the blessings of being with family and friends and the celebration of the season all have special meaning to me. As the time grows closer, make sure to ask yourself and your family; “what is it that you remember most about last year?” My guess is that it won’t be a gift, it will be something that created a memory. Maybe it was the way the dinner tasted or smelled, the time spent decorating or a special event like a concert or play that you all attended together. Bottom line is, the holiday memories are made with the things we savored with our senses, not the advertising. Please don’t misunderstand me, sharing gifts with those we love is a part of the season, just don’t let it become the focus, because money can’t buy holiday traditions and memories. How do we look at other options? Here are some thoughts from the book, “Unplug the Christmas Machine." (Jo Robinson and Jean Coppock Staeheli)
If we just go through the motions, we are bound to be disappointed, frustrated and in debt because we missed the meaning. Here’s their Christmas Pledge:
Believing in the true spirit of Christmas, I commit myself to:
*Remember those people who truly need my gifts
*Express my love in more direct ways than gifts
*Examine my holiday activities in the light of my deepest values
*Be a peacemaker within my circle of family and friends
*Rededicate myself to my spiritual growth
So what kind of things might we do to create memories for the season? Maybe it’s time to start new traditions or change the ways “we’ve always done things”. Read through the following suggestions and see if any of these might be things you would like to try?
*Make your own wrapping paper by using just plain news wrap and let the kids decorate the packages with stickers and handprints?
*Have a family or friends cookie baking day—everyone brings their favorite recipe and makes enough for everyone to have a few to take home.
*Ask the family what kind of things they would really like to do, or things they don’t want to do over the holidays. Sometimes our schedules are so full, that we forget to enjoy the moment.
*Think about what you can do for someone else? Is it a gift of time, your company or a favor to brighten someone’s day. Think about how the children can help, spread the holiday cheer with you.
There are so many other options to consider, I hope that this gets you started. There is probably no perfect way to celebrate, but think about what it really means to you and your family as the days and weeks count down.