The Christmas season is my favorite time of the year. I love to decorate, shop for gifts, and serve special Christmas treats. However, I do not like the stress that often accompanies the season.
I also don’t like how my kids begin acting around Christmastime. When my kids were younger, they began to notice all the toy commercials that bombarded our TV time each day. Inevitably, they would start asking for those toys for Christmas. I have to admit that many years they received a lot of those toys. Especially the “hot item” that parents would fight over just to make sure their kids got the best toy for Christmas.
Usually, within a week of Christmas, the new toys quickly became old toys and the kids would start asking for new things. Eventually we had so many toys and items that it was very hard to keep their rooms neat and picked up.
Last year, my husband and I struggled with what to get the kids for Christmas. They didn’t really need anything, and they couldn’t pinpoint one item for their “big” Christmas present. We ended up getting our son a laptop computer, and he has used it quite a bit. However, my daughter got a new gaming system that I think has only been played a few times in the last year.
It was quite clear that Christmas needed to be changed in our home. My husband and I agreed that instead of buying presents for our kids that were temporary and would be disposed of at some point, we would give them memories. That led us to decide to go on a family trip and forego the usual presents under the tree.
Now, don’t feel bad for my kids. Seriously! We’re going to spend part of our Christmas break at Disney World in Florida. They will definitely get their chance to purchase souvenirs that will be far more meaningful to them than any presents we could have bought them. And, they will have the memory of a fabulous trip to carry with them the rest of their lives. They’ll also still get gifts from grandparents and aunts and uncles.
I can’t say we’ll do this every year. It’s definitely an expensive undertaking even though we’ve scaled back on some other things this Christmas. But my husband and I feel very strongly that memories are more important than stuff. I’m sure we will take that feeling into account for Christmases to come.
I’ll let you know in a few weeks if this was a good decision or not. But for now, I’m enjoying a little less stressful Christmas season. I hope you can find a way to make Christmas less stressful for you, too!