I don’t usually think about christmas this early, in fact if anything I try and avoid it for as long as possible. By the time christmas day actually comes I often feel like I’ve been flogged to death by christmas spirit and the one christmas album all the shops seem to play. The downside of that is that I always feel afterwards that we didn’t do a very good job at the whole thing.
We’ve been downsizing christmas for quite a few years now: in both our families we’ve all agreed you pick one name out of a hat to buy for, we’ve banned presents for the kids other than from us and the grandparents and JM and I just do something nice together rather than forage for gifts. All of which is great, not least because xmas shopping takes about 2 afternoons and I get to feel very smug watching all those stressed shoppers zip around town. Except that the whole point of downsizing wasn’t to kill xmas it was to ditch the consumption and reclaim the celebration and that’s the bit we haven’t figured out yet.
I want to make xmas a time that is magical and fun for the kids, full of traditions and meaning and not about just getting stuff. Good intentions haven’t got me very far in previous years because by the time December comes we are much too busy to give it the time and attention and planning that it needs. So here’s where I need your help: tell me the things you have done or heard of other people or families doing which make it special/magical/meaningful/fun.
To start you off, here’s a few I found on the internet:
* Celebrating St Nicklaus day (5th Dec), telling his story and putting shoes out for small gifts
* Reading The Grinch/Night Before Xmas on Xmas Eve
* An advent candle
Ok, so they’re not earth-shattering but it’s a start. Over to you…