“Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.”
Dr Seuss – How the Grinch Stole Christmas
I love Christmas, I really do. I love putting up the Christmas tree, I love the tacky decorations, I love baking Christmas biscuits with the kids, I love hyping them up with excitement as the advent calendar is brought out and with it the promise of chocolate for the next 24 nights.
However… mixed in with this Christmas excitement is a churning in the pit of my stomach, wondering if we are doing the right thing. The culture of ‘needing’ to buy each other gifts, often giving or receiving things that we never wanted in the first place all in the name of Christmas.
What I don’t want to do though is kill the excitement of Christmas for my kids. I don’t want them to end up like me, returning home from late night shopping in near tears over the sheer amount of unnecessary crap we have thrust under our noses at this time of year, witnessing the madness in peoples eyes as they tear impatiently from shop to shop, desperate to find something, anything that will fill their quota to allow them to go home.
What I have decided is there are other things we can do, other traditions we can start.
- Make homemade cards
The kids love it and by starting in November, we can take our time so there is less stress involved.
- Come up with fancy gift wrapping ideas
This gives me an excuse to trawl through crafty blogs and Pinterest for ideas on how to recycle paper with the added advantage of great looking gifts.
- Make sure the kids are aware of the pleasure of giving, not just receiving
By baking a massive batch of biscuits and letting the kids go crazy decorating them with icing, they can give their friends and teachers at childcare & kindy a gift they have pride in. Also on Christmas Day when someone gives them a gift they have something to give in return.
As the kids get older I’d like to add to this list but for now, that’s about as much craft and cooking we can handle in the run up to Christmas.
What Christmas traditions do you have or what new ones you would like to start?