video by Heather
I have always enjoyed the rush of black Friday and getting as many gifts as possible for a bargain. Waiting for the ads to come out and circling all the things that I wanted to buy and wrap for my family. Waking up at 5am and racing to get that “perfect gift”.
I think it might have stemmed from not having much as a kid. I remember calling my friends to see what Santa brought them, only to find that there list was way longer then mine. Did that mean I was bad that year???
My oldest is now 13 and we have been spoiling him and his 2 siblings long enough, esp on this day. Until last year when I decided that enough was enough! I started thinking about how my mom would make us things for Xmas like a stuffed Carebear, not because she was so against holiday shopping, but out of necessity. As an adult I now think back, and the items I remember are the ones that my mom made for me and my siblings not the dolls, lotion or plastic toy that are commonly given as a gift on this day.
What is Xmas all about?? Making a list of all the material stuff that you want or the celebration of each other and spending quality time together? Will your family think you love them more bc you spent more money on them, or spend time enjoying them?So last year we decided to change our ways and focus on each other and unity as a family. My husband did trade work for a cabin in the snow. We spent the 10 days playing games, taking walks, sledding, baking goodies and sitting around the fire. I made a scavenger hunt up for the kids, which they love to look for things in nature like a fallen tree or a live animal. We tried a new recipe everyday and enjoyed trying them and loving or disliking them. We cut down our own tree and made our own decorations out of pinecones and shrinky dinks. The kids all got one gift from us and one from Santa as well as stocking goodies. I made body scrub and scented soap for all the women in the family. The gift to our extended family was to spend time with us away from any distractions from the hustle and bustle.
My mom and I got fabric and made matching pjs for us all to wear while there. My mom, quite the sewer, made us girls the cutest xmas apron that I will always remember and treasure. It truly was an amazing time. If you ask our kids if they would rather have a tree full of presents underneath or time spent together like at the cabin, they would all answer: the cabin!!!!!
So even though we probably won’t be able to spend Xmas every year at a cabin, we will def spend the time focusing on each other and how fortunate we are to have one another and how everything else does not matter. I will cherish the gifts that my mom has made for me, may it be a Carebear or apron and I hope that my children will do the same.
***Update***As requested, here is part of Heather's poem of the 4 items she chose to adopt to turn her xmas into a stress free one:
|Still have my Carebear, unlike all the other "material" gifts that may have seem important at that time.|
Something they want
Something they need
Something to wear
Something ro read
Here is an added bonus:25 years ago. The Best present I got that year, was the start of a beautiful friendship with my BFF Polliwog.
**Written By Sparkly**