I have a love hate relationship with Christmas. Really, there isn’t much hate, but it has always been hard for my frugal, green, side to deal with all the gift giving. So much commercialism and expectations that always is followed by an almost let down when it is all over.
Now, this year, I have a tiny apartment and new found minimalism to throw into the mix. I love Christmas and everything it stands for religiously and relationaly. So, as I was talking to a friend of mine a few weeks ago, we came up with a great idea founded on two things.
Stretch the Holiday
Focus on the Experience
What I am going to try this year is a ‘7 days of Christmas’ (really, 12 would be nice, but my creativity is stretched at 7). We are going to do Christmas from Dec 25 to Dec 31. Each day is going to have 3 parts:
- Small gift
- Special food
- Family Activity
Each day the kids will unwrap their experience. Not sure on the details yet, but this is where I am starting. I haven’t planned the small gifts yet, but they will be like a new pack of crayons, or play-doh or something similar with the real present being the experience.
- Dec 25-Waffles with Ice Cream, Grandma’s house
- Dec 26-Pizza Party, Making a ginger bread house
- Dec 27-Cinnamon Buns, Children’s Museum
- Dec 28-Home Made French Fries, Indoor Playground
- Dec 29-Go out for Donuts in the am, Game Night
- Dec 30-Make Cookies, Zoo
- Dec 31-TBD, (see, 7 days is stretching me, but it sounds better than 6)
The goal is to have great memories, and lots of family time. That is what Christmas is all about. Love, relationships, sharing, relaxing, parties, memories…. Love has been commercialized, which works great for retailers, because people will always try and prove their love more and more by spending more and more. I am not against it, but kids can’t be bought. Gifts are fun, but gifts aren’t what memories are made of.
I am not here yet, but there is a great post on The Minimalists about no gifts. Interesting read.