In 20 years of Christmases, my husband and I have loved every one of them and celebrated them to the fullest.
We started our holidays shopping at the Dollar Tree. Our daughter received books and toys from there and we exchanged homemade gifts.
In the 2 years that followed, we moved up in the world and embraced the world of credit. We charged our gifts and spared no expense. That was a thrilling year for us until the bills started coming in. Then it was not so much fun. We spent the next few years trying to climb out of debt.
In those years, we learned a lot. We experimented with thinking that our children had to have everything that they put down on the list. Of course we learned that that didn’t give us anything but a lower balance on our account and toys that were left untouched.
We thought they had to have all things that were deemed the “toy of the year.” Again we discovered the same thing. We are lucky to have kids that aren’t overly interested in the brand new $1000 toys.
Now, 20 years later we settled into what truly matters to us...the traditions and memories.
Every Christmas Eve is spent baking with my children and husband. We bake all the cookies that people enjoy and give them as gifts for our families. It started out as a gift idea when we were low on money. 18 years later it is still something we look forward to.
When we finish baking, we’re off to see the lights. We drive to the neighboring streets that we know go all out. We discovered one last night that has now become my all time favorite. Bless my husband because I’ve asked for that for our house next year, which he laughed and said “yes dear. “
While we are out driving around, Santa stops by and drops early Christmas gifts of pajamas on our beds. It’s a small tradition, but the kids LOVE it. They are so excited to see them and rush to put them on. Amazing the joy it brings.
Dinner is scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, pancakes...well you get the idea, breakfast is our Christmas Eve dinner.
Munchkin, my youngest feeds the reindeer her special reindeer food all over the front lawn.
Finally, we all snuggle together in the boys’ room to listen to my hubby read Twas The Night Before Christmas before the kids all get tucked in.
Once they’re settled, daddy and I go to work as Santa’s helpers. With the movie A Christmas Story playing in the background, we sneak the goods under the tree. Then we sit back on the couch and laugh, talk, relax and count our blessings all while listening to our children tossing about trying to sleep.
We know the morning will come soon enough and the kids will gather around our bed to wake us up so they can rip into their gifts.
One day they will be grown with families of their own and making their own traditions. I want them to have the memories that will last a lifetime.
I wish you all peace, joy, a day of no pain, no sadness, lots of love and good tidings.