Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Countdown to Christmas

"Each one of you is living a life filled with much to do. I plead with you not to let the important things in life pass you by, planning instead for that illusive and non-existent future day when you'll have time to do all that you want to do. Instead, find joy in the journey--now." Thomas S. Monson

My favorite time of year is here. The house is decorated (almost), the Christmas music is playing and I have the Christmas smell on the stove. Even though it's in the high 70's it feels like Christmas.

Many of you have asked, "How did you do Christmas for all of us kids?". I think back to those fun days, what made it special and how did we do it? First of all the presents. I always had 10 presents for each child. That made over 80 presents under the tree. I don't really recommend that, it put up unreal expectations for future spouses and wrapping was a beast. Each of you got 1 big present from Santa. I tried for it to be what you wanted most. Within reason of course, no pony under the tree. Then the other presents were smaller things that would be enjoyed. A T-shirt in one package, always socks in another. The next might be a box of crayons and a coloring book for the young or a packet of marking pens for the older ones. A lip gloss or a bracelet was always loved. You could count on a new pair of PJ's. It's amazing what you can find that is really wanted for little money. The stockings followed the same principle. A few candy bars, a piece of fruit always helped fill it. Paperback books were good for the older ones. Hair pretty, little cars, you get the idea. We never did a big family gift unless we had enough money to do both the individual gifts and a big ticket item. We saved the big ticket item for another time.

But that was only the climax to a wonderful season. It began with decorating the house, setting up the tree, playing Christmas music every day. I always had the Christmas smell simmering on the stove. (Mix water, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, ginger and few orange slices together and bring to a boil, turn down heat and let simmer. Keep adding water so it doesn't burn down). We went to all the decorations in the area, including the mall, attended both school and church Christmas programs and never missed a Frosty, Rudolph or any other Christmas TV show. We exchanged names among the kids and shopped for each other with excitement.

You remember the traditions, singing, cookies, etc. But the most important thing is enjoy! Take time to read a Christmas story, don't worry if it doesn't all get done. As long as it involves the kids it is worth doing, if it is just cleaning, it can wait a day or two.

My countdown has begun! I can hardly wait.



I told Brent that you are to blame for our crazy Christmases. He thinks that I buy way too much stuff. Now, he knows why I feel the need to have a tree covered with presents. I am trying to control myself this year, but we will have to wait and see if it works.

Kricket said...

I love the quote by the Prophet. It is so true! This year I have really scaled down the number of presents. The kids just don't seem to appreciate what they get anymore. Every year it seems like the break their toys a week after they get them. This year I bought clothes and a trampoline for all of them. I think that will be good enough, I hope. :P

goingsome said...

This year we have scaled down Christmas, though we have some cute stuff for the kids. I agree that the little stuff is what is important. The best gifts are the thrifty gifts that were an impulse buy and the large gifts, we can do without.

I may be singing a different tune, as the kids get older, but I don't think so. The kids love PJ's. That is an easy gift to fulfill. The delightful squeels for a set of PJ's they wanted, AHH!!!!

We are easy to please here too!!!

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