So, Thanksgiving has come and gone and now the push for Christmas is upon us. The television has bombarded us with Black Friday and Cyber Monday ads to let us know we can get those great presents at a great price. The mailman has delivered enough sale circulars to paper our walls and our email inboxes are over-flowing with reminders of the same.
I can’t speak for everyone because not everyone is in the same situation as I am, but I think I can safely say that we need to focus on what is important. We need to focus on what we can do, and not what we can’t do.
We can change the channel when luring commercials come on. We can toss out the sale circulars that tempt us to spend money we don’t have. We can hide our credit cards and save up our change. We can delete and unsubscribe the emails that urge us to check out their websites.
Check out your town’s (or those nearby) list of events, many of them have tree lighting ceremonies with all kinds of things to do with your family. Have your own tree lighting ceremony complete with stringing popcorn garland (make extra for munching), make pinecone ornaments, or use last year’s cards with ribbon as ornaments to trim your tree then make some hot chocolate and watch your favorite Christmas movie.
If you have little one’s in your home, have them make Christmas cards rather than buying boxed ones. Make sure they send a few to our service men and women overseas. If your family is on the grown up side, consider making your Christmas cards using some photos from prior Christmas’ to bring back fond memories for everyone.
Start a new tradition. Maybe you gather everyone together and bake a traditional cookie as well as a new recipe or make handmade ornaments. Get friends and family together and go caroling or help decorate each other’s homes.
Have a ‘Secret Santa’ Christmas. Write each person’s name on a slip of paper. Gather everyone together and have them pull a name from the hat – not sharing with anyone who they picked. Set the rules of the exchange such as price limit, when gifts will be exchanged, whether it should be a handmade or store bought gift, etc… Then, to make things even more fun, follow-up with a ‘Silly Santa’ exchange (or Yankee Swap). My family did this last year and it was so much fun, however we did not open the gifts until everyone had a gift and the trades were completed and we opened them one at a time. Make sure you keep a camera handy.