I just hate what the world has made Christmas into. Greed, money, expectations...
I like thanksgiving so much better. Food and gratitude! Perfection. BUT, I have children, and a couple still have the magic gleam in their eye. I must embrace the goodness of Christmas for their sake and keep it special around here. I am changing my approach in an effort to help us all. Here are the things I'm implementing this year. Nothing new, maybe, but I'm sharing in case you could use some direction on purifying the season.
1. White Friday
The pic is self-explanatory. As a family we will take the day after Thanksgiving to connect to the temple. For our girls, who are too young to enter the temple, we will visit the grounds with them and have them touch the temple and we'll partake of the spirit there. The rest of us will take turns attending and serving in the temple.
2. Handmade gifts?
Ok, not all gifts. Santa will still be stopping by. But normally the kids earn sibling gift money thru extra chores, and then we take them out shopping and it's lots of fun, actually. They only have one sibling to buy for and they put a lot of work into it.
This year we're challenging them to make it a homemade gift for their person. Gift supplies can equal a maximum of $5. Preferably $0. Mom and Dad can help if requested, as long as it's completed by Dec 22 (we're trying to encourage the procrastinators to get in gear). I am very curious to see how this will play out. We introduced the idea at Family Home Evening this week and it got mixed reactions.
3. Straw for baby Jesus
This story has circulated for a while, and can be found HERE and HERE. Basically, service you provide as a family creates the soft bed for baby Jesus to lay his head.
I don't have a manger, but I found this little basket at the thrift store for .50. We have plenty of straw from the fall porch decorations, so I just need to make tiny baby Jesus.
I look forward to reporting back on our Christmas changes for 2015 and evaluating what we'll incorporate into our permanent bank of family traditions.