If you are a fairly new friend of mine, I'm about to let you in on a little secret. Are you ready?
I start planning for Christmas in JUNE.
I like being organized and spreading my purchases (gifts, food and ornaments for the kids) out over several months instead of trying to cram everything into a couple weeks. When I plan ahead like this...I have found that I am more relaxed during the holidays and we have time to make special memories.
You will notice that June was two months ago....and I'm behind schedule.
I'm getting a late start this year for several reasons. Many plans have been up in the air....Calvin agreed to travel for Christmas without discussing it with me and then recent events have made that trip unnecessary. I prefer to spend Christmas in MY HOME. Especially while the children are younger and have
The other reason is that for the last five years...Calvin's side of the family has drawn names for gift giving. It started out of necessity...because money was tight and the dollar limit was relatively low. That limit has grown over the last few years and I've enjoyed the arrangement...being able to focus on one person and spending my budget on them.
This year some family members don't want to draw names. This has caused me to stress out a little bit about the holidays and wonder how I'm going to spread my small gift budget out among 5 people. If
I had a poll up a few weeks ago. Thank you for voting and giving me your opinion. The consensus was that few nice gifts were preferable to several inexpensive gifts and many agreed with me that Christmas really is about the Children....and not receiving presents.
This all gave me much to think about....and I told Calvin a few weeks ago that I wanted to limit the amount of gifts we bought for the kids this year. Last year...they each had 22ish presents and it took two days for them to open them all. This is excessive!
When I think back to last Christmas....I can't remember what we bought them as gifts (except all of the THOMAS the Train stuff). What I do remember is all of the fun we had with the elves, playing in the snow, the tea party, making cookies, watching the Christmas shows on TV and attempting to go to the parade.
This morning I was googling *filling my child's love cup* and I found this article from The Natural Child Project and it was as if a giant light went on! To read the entire article click HERE.
In a nutshell....after spending all of our time shopping, baking and attending a bunch of holiday parties we don't have as much time to spend with our kids. Children crave attention from the people they love and they need to have their love cup filled or they feel unhappy.
If you try to make a kid happy by buying them more presents to make up for the lack of time you are spending with them they learn that things make them happy. We never want to substitute gifts for love or they require more things to try to fill the emptiness they feel.
What every children really needs is the gift of feeling loved, listened too, understood and useful. Our kids want to be with us and do things with us. Spending time with them is more important than any gift you could give them.
And so...I feel like I'm on the right track and this year we will be taking the focus off from gifts and re-direct it were it should be. On
List of things to do in August/September:
Organize Christmas notebook and create list and budget spreadsheets.
Find a support group for notebook addiction. (carried over from last year)
Start thinking about gift ideas for family and kids.
Select a date for the Holiday Tea Party
Start working on holiday letter
HALLOWEEN: Decide on and purchase costume for the kids. Decide on costumes for me and Bobbi.