Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Where Are You Christmas?

Every year around this time (post Halloween, pre Thanksgiving), I begin to struggle with finding and maintaining my Christmas Spirit. I really relate to the words of this song from the movie “How The Grinch Stole Christmas”:

Inevitably, once I start focusing, I find my Christmas spirit. It really is just a matter of digging myself out from under the commercialism and thinking about what the season means to me and how I want to honor it. Last year I did two things that have made a HUGE difference in how I approach this season.

1. I made a conscious decision to TAKE BACK my Christmas. I used to be so stressed out with plans and preparations that I didn’t get to enjoy the holiday. Through a class at BPS called “Cut the Crazy Out of Christmas” I created a 3 ring binder Christmas Planner. It includes great forms for organizing and planning every aspect of your Christmas holiday. The Planner is reusable by simply printing out new forms each year. You can find similar forms and ideas here.

2. I combined ideas from Shimelle – Journal Your Christmas and Ali Edwards – December Daily to create a daily journal of the month of December that allowed me to be fully present in each moment and each tradition throughout the holiday season. I LOVE my Christmas Journal from last year and am doing the same thing this year.

I have one major new goal for this Christmas. I want to AVOID EXCESS. Christmas in the past few years with my three teenage daughters has felt like a lot of excess with little appreciation - they just EXPECT huge amounts of stuff. I want to buy less and not feel guilty about it. And I’d like to make the gifts more meaningful. Now to figure out how.... I could use some help on this one - Any ideas on how to sell less gifts to three teenagers??


Honoré said...

Teenagers respond mightily to money! How about setting a $$ amount for each and giving them a couple gift cards plus you make a trip to the dollar store for a bunch of little things that are meaningful and that you can wrap individually? And perhaps a coupon or two for some 1:1 time with each later in the year?
On the little gifts or even all, you could write little clues for each. It may be that they just really like the thrill of opening gifts. We are in a tight economy; maybe it's time for a little sacrifice?
Good luck!

You and Me~Shell said...

I am taking the HIH class with Jessica as well and enjoyed reading your previous blog entry. I too have three teenagers and can sympathize with you on that part of it. Good luck on the Christmas gift giving. I am working on the same thing. Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed your blog.

Jan C. said...

I'm with you, Cheri. I used to watch the show, "Seventh Heaven," and I was intrigued by the way that fictional family celebrated Christmas: they drew names and made their one gift or bartered for it, or whatever. It was rarely anything huge, shiny, or extravagant. The only pressure was that the giver had to really put some thought into what the recipient was all about. That way, the gift was more than just a token, it said to the recipient, "I've paid attention to you this past year, and I get what you are all about." I think that would be an awesome way to handle the situation.

In reality, however, at our house the older boys are getting a new suit each, and everyone but the youngest is basically getting clothing and more clothing. Once they have an iPod, clothing seems to be all teens really want anyway. Well, unless you can give them each a new car! :-)

Kathy M said...

Hey, fellow HIH scrapper!
I like your post. I too feel the too little appreciation for too much excess stuff going on in our house. I've always limited the amount they get to 3 gifts from us, but I'm going even less this year. They don't need anything.

Deana Birks said...

I've always thought I'd enjoy Christmas better *without* the gift aspect. Maybe I'm weird that way, but isn't the family, friends, and food an elaborate enough celebration without adding kajillions of presents?

Anonymous said...

I've really enjoyed reading your blog. My kids are now young adults. When they were teenagers we tried to purchase one or two "hot items" on their list and then filled in with books, clothes, things I knew they could use (and probably might buy anyway). Now I give them a $ limit that I plan to spend on gifts. They give me a list, and I work from that with a surprise mixed in. I'm finally getting better at sticking to my limit.