Friday, December 5, 2014

Frugal Friday: The Perfect Christmas

I love this season of the year, but I know it can be stressful as we try so hard to create the "perfect Christmas" for our family. What does the perfect Christmas involve? There's that image in our minds of the perfect family together in a beautifully decorated home, all getting along well, and everyone overjoyed with the (very expensive) gifts they were given. I don't know where that image in our minds comes from. I don't know whether it's media's influence, advertising, or what, but it is very real and it's very compelling. It's so easy to spend so much time and money trying to create that, that it's easy to miss what the season is really about. Today I'd like to share with you my vision of what the perfect Christmas is and talk a little about simplifying Christmas for our families to focus on what really matters. I'd love to hear your ideas too.

  1. The Perfect Decorations - The best Christmas decorations are the smiles on your family member's faces as you create wonderful and beautiful Christmas memories together. Because that's what really matters, right? Beyond that the perfect decorations are the decorations you already have. Those timeless decorations that hold memories for the children and tie them to the reason we celebrate Christmas. We don't need picture perfect or magazine showcases as homes. That's not reality. Those wonderful decorations that children make at school every year are simple and beautiful and imperfectly perfect. Paper snowflakes are fun to make together as a family and make the perfect decorations. A snowman in the front yard is a perfect Christmas decoration because it means somebody spent time outside building it. Rather than spending time away from your family buying and trying to create picture perfect homes, why not simplify and spend that time WITH your family? Find ways with your family to build the true spirit of Christmas in your hearts by giving to others.
    One of my favorite Christmas decorations on our tree every year that one of our kids made
  2. The Perfect Gifts - And speaking of giving to others...Giving to others is such an important part of Christmas but oh how it's gotten out of hand, So much is spent ensuring that children are given all of their wildest dreams for Christmas that there is no time left to help children learn to GIVE at Christmas. Yes I'm sure we've all been guilty of it in one way or another. So how do we teach children to give at Christmas (and similarly all year long)? I like to help the children make gifts to give the people they want to give gifts to that year. It takes time and patience, but it's something we've learned to enjoy doing together. We usually come up with one or two simple crafts they can make mostly by themselves with simple materials we mostly already have. Then we help the kids assemble their gifts and wrap them. There is nothing like watching a child excited to give their gifts they made mostly by themselves. Last year my 6-year-old was so excited he couldn't wait for Christmas and had everyone open their gifts from him several weeks early. It was so fun to watch his joy when he saw them discover his gifts. That is what Christmas is all about. 
  3. The Perfect Activities - I've posted about more than 100 frugal family activities you can do for Christmas. It's fun to have an advent calendar where you list what activities you will do each day. If you don't have that kind of time, just pick a few from the list to do every week. Spending time together as a family builds bonds that will last forever. And the holidays are such a perfect time to do that and create wonderful memories and traditions. We love to pick a family or two in our neighborhood that we can serve during the Christmas season. Having children be a part of that is another great way to teach them to give.
Now I'd love to hear from you. What's a wonderful Christmas memory that you have? What things do you do to help simplify Christmas and make it more meaningful?

I hope you are enjoying this holiday season. 

Have a


Mona "Lisa" said...

I love this post! The Christmases that I can remember with fondness are not the ones where our family received a bunch of presents- one in fact, where all we got was a winter coat and I loved it. We focused on the Savior. I love your Bethlehem Dinner- I really want to do that! Sure miss you guys. You always have such clever ideas :)

Heather {Healthy Family Cookin} said...

Thanks for sharing that Lisa. The Bethlehem dinner is really fun to do. And it really does help you focus on the reason for the season. Merry Christmas!

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