Monday, November 20, 2006

I'm Decorating!

I'm trying to make it look like Christmas around here, in case you were wondering :)

We are very excited about the Christmas season in our house this year. We have decided to make this a "Memory Christmas."

Like many of us, I am so struck by the commercialization of our Christmas season, and like many of us, I have bought into it since my children have been born.

This year, it seems almost sinful to indulge ourselves in our every whim. I was at the Mall yesterday, and it was crazy how much *stuff* people are buying.

When did we get to the "here's a very expensive present, see how much I love you?" part of our lives?

Christmas is a happy, yet melancholy time for me, as I'm reminded of all the people who will do without; of all the children who will not feel joy during this season, and of all the parents who's hearts will be broken because they cannot provide for their kids on Christmas morning.

And yet, in the end, very, very few of my best Christmas memories have anything to do with gifts. Even my children could not recall what their gifts have been with great accuracy -- some stand out for Dakotah, but not many.

So...this year, we are building our family a Christmas to remember. And one of the ways we are going to do that is to take the concentration off gifts.

Its not easy to do; some people whom I've told about this plan raise an eyebrow at me, and think I should be able to pull off my "game plan" AND fill my tree with gifts for my children.

I don't think so. They are well provided for; we have many luxuries, and if we get passed the "what I want for Christmas" thing, we will find great joy in each other.

This year, our gift to our children will be the gift of time and love. We will trade the "Christmas rush" in for time spent with them. We will make homemade Christmas cards, and decorations for the tree, and go out in the woods and chop that tree right down, just the 4 of us. We will bake and give to neighors, teachers, and friends. We will adopt a family, and grocery shop for them for a week, and provide gifts to their children. We will sing Christmas songs and look at lights.

And along the way, we will talk about our favourite Christmas memories. Wayne and I will tell stories of our childhood Christmases, and tell our children over and over and over again how much we adore them.

We will remind them of Our Saviour, who was born during this season, and how grateful we are to Him for everything.

And...we will document our entire journey, with pictures, stories, etc., that we will put into a big family scrapbook.

Yes, there will be stockings filled, and a few presents under the tree Christmas morning, but the most special gift of all will be that scrapbook that we have made together...a precious, precious keepsake of this wonderful time in our lives.


Camille said...

Betsy, How come we think so often in the same way??? For years, I have not been liking these commercial christmases... I have done a few things to make our Christmases more meaningful (carolling for our older neighboors, staying away from stores in December, always, always homemade food (we now have our own traditional items)). This year I seem to hear it more all around me; people do not seem happy about Christmas anymore... And my thoughts are: We do not have to play along, all people have to do is stop the big wheel and create their own Christmas magic... And here you are, thinking along the same path and DOING SOMETHING ABOUT IT. Way to go, Betsy!!!

Tara Marie said...

Joining in the Christmas Memory theme......I wrote about it recently, and we have started our process of homemade gifts and spending time creating a Christmas season to remember.

We do something at our house that you might be interested in.....the children each get three gifts under the tree, to symbolize the three gifts bestowed on Baby Jesus by the Magi. It has become a focus of what is truly important about season, and it has given us the opportunity to not fall prey to the commercialized aspect of Christmas.

I am looking forward to seeing the photographs of your Christmas season....and the scrapbook to follow.

Peace and love, TM

Shelley said...

Wonderful post as usual. My house is ready to get right into Chrtistmas this year as the twins are more aware of the whole thing - they are watching us for rituals and traditions that I hope will last for their lifetime. So yes we are talking about Santa here - but it is very important to me that they love Christmas as their parents do - because it celebrates the birth of Jesus and it is a special time to acknowledge our wonderful family, friends and community - those people who have given so much love to our family. I can't wait to decorate the tree and get baking!

Sean Carter said...

That was a lovely post...loved reading it....but sadly enough...very few of us feel this way and fall a prey to commercialisation!!!

Nicole said...

So right Bets. I can't wait to hear your entries along the path of this holiday season. I can't believe the amount of catalogues I am getting, what a waste of trees! We do 4 presents for each theory, but those accessories sort of add up. We do try not to go over board, and keep the focus definitely on the Lord. Much love honey!

mum2brady said...

This is wonderful Betsy! I can't wait to "see" pics from your adventures and hear about all the memories you are making! In the end, that is what our kids take with them... May you have the best Christmas season ever!