What is it really about?

Today our pastor talked about holiday stress. I can't say I never succumb, but I decided years ago that if the holidays stressed me out, I would cease to participate. It's just not worth it to me if I can't sit back and think about the real meaning of the season and what's really important. I can be stressed out any old time of the year.

Here are some ways that we personally try to take the stress and commercialism out of this holiday. Some have been successful and others we're not so good at yet, but we try and usually have a lot of laughs to go along with it:
-we don't buy a lot of presents. The kids get 3 each, (they are well thought out) and for extended family we try to do something handmade. Since we have 3 huge pecan trees in our back yard, we love to pick the pecans, get them shelled and mail them for Christmas. They are a hit with our northern families who don't get fresh pecans.
-the kids make Christmas crafts, at home. Yeah, they always bring cute stuff back from school, but our kids make cookies, paper trees and homemade bird feeders, (pincones slathered in PB and rolled in birdseed) at home.
-we play and sing (loudly and terribly) Christmas music. All of it. Sometimes the thoughtful stuff and sometimes the hilariously stupid ones. We even sing to that God-awful "Last Christmas" by Wham! and usually we make up new words.
-we read LOTS of Christmas books. We have a whole huge Pampered Chef box full that doesn't come out until the day after Thanksgiving.
-we budget whatever kinds of things will put our family in the holiday spirit so that we can feel more at "home." It's expensive to go home for the holidays and a hassle with so many kids, so we do stuff in the hopes that we are making happy memories for our kids that they can take with them. I can't explain this the way I want, except that maybe instead of "it's not Christmas without snow" they'll be able to take Christmas with them wherever they are...

So this December I think I might try to post some pictures of some of the things we do to make it Christmas to our hearts.

December 2nd we went to one of those drive-through lights exhibits. It was actually nice and chilly and it SNOWED inside the tent where they showed the holiday movie. Okay...they used a snow machine, but we'll take what we can get, especially when the following day was 75 degrees.

we put them in their new Christmas jammies and packed up to head an hour north.
we sang like fools all the way there
in the middle they have a place to get out and go ride rides, get food and drinks and watch a Christmas show. Talk about value adding!
we rode the carousel and had NO tears! The babies are getting so big!
we enjoyed huge Christmas cookies decorated with about a pound of frosting and sprinkles

And we stood in line to watch the Christmas show.
It was actually cold out, (cold enough for coats outside anyway) so it was pretty festive to us snowbunnies.
The kids waited eagerly for the show to start.
and it SNOWED!!! We had no idea about that part of it, so it was just amazing. I think Allan might have teared up just a little and I almost jumped out of my seat in excitement.
We had a LOT of laughs...like at this NERD here. Nice, Urkle

The walkthrough lights were very cool, too.

These snowflakes were lighting in succession, so the girls kept pretending it was snowing on them. Corbin thought it was all pretty awesome.
and that's all the pictures for this edition. I've got 2 other events to add, so keep an eye out :) Hope you're all making your own Christmases bright, too! And most importantly, remembering what's REALLY important this holiday.


Gayle said...

It's quite warm where you are and it is -20* where I am...and you are wearing a warmer coat than I am! LOL :) I think I need a winter coat.

Looks like wonderful family memories.

Trina said...

Where was this at? I'm pretty sure this is the same place George was talking about wanting to take the kids! Looks fun :)