Sunday, December 8, 2013

Holidays and New Babies

Daughter helping me get the decorations out.

'Tis that time of year. Shopping, decorating, presents, parties, cards, lights, baking, cooking, wrapping, stockings, trees, wreaths, Christmas plays, events, and the madness continues until after the ball drop on New Year's Eve and the last ornament is put away.

I love this time of year and all the festivities that go with it. Always have, always will. However, last January when my daughter was born, I realized something. I love the spirit of Christmas, but I despise the commercialism associated with it. The whole Black Friday thing makes me want to scratch my skin with a razor blade. Suddenly all the Christmas decorations that showed up in September in most of the major department stores made me want to puke tinsel and mistletoe right in the middle of the isle.

Funny thing is I've actually always felt that way, but never really thought about it as I let myself get swept up in whirlwind of presents, parties, and holiday music. A few years back, I actually stopped buying actual presents for my family, unless it was an item they really wanted or needed; instead I started canning jams, salsas, jellies, and specialty sauces that I then gifted. People already have too much stuff, but you can't go wrong with a nice treat to eat.

As the holiday season approached this year I started to panic. People were going to be buying presents for my girl and not to mention I wanted to get her something special. We are still getting presents celebrating her birth, TEN months ago, and now Christmas. Not that I'm ungrateful for all the things she's received, I am very thankful, but it's overwhelming. Living in a small space doesn't help. The whole idea of a room full of wrapped gifts for one person really freaked me out. She's a baby! What does a baby understand about Christmas and getting presents?

When you have a child, everything you do changes because that child is your responsibility and you want to make sure they are raised properly even though you might not follow everything you teach. I decided right then and there that I would walk the talk. If I didn't want my girl to grow up with a consumerized version of Christmas, we needed to cut back and focus on these three things.

Simplicity. That's my new favorite word. Less is more and make what you do have quality. We decided to decorate, but be basic. A tree, our stockings, a faux bough with lights over the book cases, and some lights out on the balcony. Whatever our presents are this year they must fit inside the stockings (limit 1 or 2 items).

Fun. Christmas & the winter holidays are supposed to be fun. So we've been playing fun Christmas music and games every day, like "let's find all the snowman on the tree." At her age most of the fun is just being silly. So we dance to Jingle Bell Rock and play peek-a-boo with her Winne the Pooh & friends ornaments. I want her to have fun memories about what we did together not what she got from Santa.

Giving. Though she doesn't understand the concept of giving yet, I'm packing a bag of her outgrown clothes and toys she doesn't play with anymore to take to the women's shelter in our neighborhood. This will be a tradition, one that I hope will stay with her for a lifetime.

So far the holidays have been pretty easy and stress-free. In fact I think these are the best holidays I've enjoyed to date. Of course, having a little new person in my home has much to do with it. :)

As always thanks for stopping by, comments are welcome, and stay tuned next week for a little Christmas surprise.

Much love,

No comments:

Post a Comment