The Gift of Giving

With Advent right around the corner (more on that in an up coming post) and the shops already buzzing with Christmas fare (…though they’ve been that way since September, let’s be honest…), I’ve got all things Christmas on the brain right now. From food, to presents, to family traditions – I love this time of year and just about everything that comes with it. I’m a Gift-Giver, if you’ve read the 5 Love Languages you’ll know what I mean, so Christmas is pretty much the best excuse for me to give people stuff 😁 I find it super easy to go over board on Christmas shopping, and now with kids to give to its even more so.

In the past I’ve had various little rules and regulations for myself to help stay in check, but I thought I’d share what I’m doing this year to help focus on the true meaning of Christmas, while still induldging my love language 😉

First and foremost we try, as a family, to focus on the season of Advent, more than Christmas Day up ahead, as a way to properly prepare our hearts and souls for what is coming. As I said, I’ll fill you in a little more on this soon.

I try most years to have 90% of my Christmas shopping done by mid/late November, before Advent starts. Not only does that help keep Advent about Advent, it also means I avoid battling Christmas crowds. This year I’m doing pretty well, so far.

Gift wise, we aim for small, but meaningful. A good present doesn’t mean an expensive one, and I hand make a lot of the gifts we give. We also try our best to give gifts that will serve a purpose for years to come, not one-off or gimmicky sorts of things that end up at the opp shop in a few months time.

For our two kids (Miss K is almost 3 and Miss A is 16 months) we’re going with the “something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read”, guide. Their “want” is a joint present of a water play table. Our summers are hot, here in Australia, and our house has no airconditioning so this will help keep them cool and occupied during the long, sweltering afternoons ahead. As for needs, there’s nothing really that they need at this point (that isn’t being supplied by an extended family member) so we’re skipping that one this year, haha 😁

For something to wear I’ve made them cute matching outfits for them to wear Christmas day. I don’t often match them, but for special occasions its hard to resist! Then for something to read we’ve bought them some My First Little House Books as they’re both book worms just like their parents!

We’re still creating our own family traditions; this will be the first Christmas we’ve had as a family where the kids are old enough to properly notice that something’s going on. We’ll keep it fairly small this year by making setting up the tree a special event, with fun music and snacks, and bring out special Christmas books, all about a week before Christmas. When they’re a little older I have grand ideas of having a Christmas Eve carols night with all the trimmings!

One tradition that we’ve practiced since Miss K was born is one that my parents started for us growing up. Every year we’d each recieve a Christmas ornament, often handmade by my mum, and we had our own boxes that we’d keep them in. Then when it was time for us to move out of home we had a special collection full of unique and meaningful decorations for our own tree.

I’ve loved continuing this tradition on and look forward to planning the kids’ decorations each year. This year I’ve made beaded wreaths for them, and loved them so much that I had to make one for me too.

I’d love to know what your Christmas traditions are? What do you do to keep Christmas meaningful and to manage the overwhelming side of things?

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