No More Santa – Yahoo or Boohoo?
Thank the good Lord above my boys weren’t littles when Elf on the Shelf became a thing! I was doing good to get Christmas cards out back then.
We had other traditions, though, that were more suitable for younger children.. Cookies for Santa, the Christmas train at the mall, pictures with Santa, and on and on. No wonder we get so tired this time of year… (And no more Christmas cards, except for the folks who don’t get on the “interwebs”!)
Now that they are older, there is no way my strapping big fellas will sit on Santa’s lap or fit in that small choo choo. There are a few we will always keep until my sons no longer reside in my home – a birthday cake for Jesus, new clothes on Christmas Eve, the candlelight service at church.
So what are some traditions you have picked up in the latter years of parenting? Here are a few to consider:
⁃ Volunteering – there are many options around the holidays! We have passed out gifts at our church’s “Christmas Store” for the needy, we have served meals at a soup kitchen, and we love to pick a child off of a Salvation Army’s angel tree. The older your kids are the more they have the ability to understand that it isn’t all about what they can get.
⁃ Give experiences instead of things. What is something in your budget that you can gift to your children? A trip to the Nutcracker ballet? Mother/Daughter spa day? NBA or NFL tickets? A trip to somewhere fun next spring break?
⁃ If you can get away with it, both financially and with family, get away! Minimum decorating and baking necessary.
⁃ Make it a more meaningful holiday. Pare down the gifts and focus on the Reason. Sing in the church’s choir for the Christmas pageant, read an advent devotional together, attend one more service than you might normally, or even go to a different denomination’s service, to see it through fresh eyes.
⁃ If your kids are fortunate enough to have grandparents still alive, make a video of them answering questions about their lives to keep as precious memories. Share them with everyone in the family!
⁃ If your children are old enough to have new children of their own or just started a new career and moved into a new place, buy them services. Housekeeper, massages, car wash services, zoo or museum memberships. Those days are exhausting and money is usually tight.