Saturday, December 19, 2009

Advent Repost #4

How to Make Advent More Like Advent and Less Like Christmas Repost: Keep it Simple


Many people fall victim to the piles and piles of gifts under the tree and the mad rush to unwrap them all, we were no exception. A couple years back, I got this very empty and unsatisfied feeling after watching the kids dive into unwrapping gift after gift without stopping to reflect on what had just been opened. It was so overwhelming for me and I believe for them as well. It was then that I decided we needed to really pare down, refocus, and spread things out a bit more.

As mentioned in a previous post, Saint Nicholas now makes his appearance in our home on December 6th, leaving little trinkets and treats in the children's stockings. On Christmas there are usually only two gifts per child under the Christmas tree; one from Wingnut and I and one from their "roommate". Gifts have to wait until we've gone to Mass and have had a sit down family breakfast. On Epiphany the children will receive one more gift, usually a family game, video, or books. The children are allowed to open packages from distant family as they come in over the days before and following Christmas. It has been so much easier to focus on the true meaning of Christmas and celebrate the other wonderful liturgical feasts leading up to Christmas this way. We have ended up becoming more thankful for what we already have, especially for the gift of Christ, himself.
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2 comments:

Sarah - Kala said...

This year we are doing much less . . . and it feels great 'cos we can focus on Christ. Many of our family are mailing checks rather than boxes . . . it's a bit deflating, but at the same time, the kids savings are increasing! Dan and I put about $400 under the tree in Wii upgrades/games. No XBox or other things we were considering. We have the dough, but thought it was crazy to spend it like that. The kids will be happy either way, so why break the bank to death??? We open the wrapped stuff after Christmas Eve Mass. In the morning, they'll find the unwrapped Wii stuff (not from Santa) . . . keep it simple. The wrapped stuff is the book, need, wear (clothing), and want (a film/game). Easy.

Sarah - Kala said...

Oh, on Epiphany, which is relatively new to us, thanks to Dawn . . . we generally do something like a family game/movie night with the game or movie being new.