Hello, again! I am back with a few more ideas from our tiny house family on creating a simple and meaningful holiday celebration. Last week, I shared about setting intentions, holding a family meeting, and buying all gifts locally. Let’s keep going:
3) Share your wishes with extended family – Once you’ve set your holiday intentions with your partner and kids, it’s important to share with grandparents and other extended family. Every year, Oma and YaYa ask for a list. This used to catch me off guard, and we’d throw a wish list together in an evening. This method (or lack thereof) resulted in random stuff: things we saw in catalogs/TV or thought up off the top of our heads–basically, advertising told us what we’d like. Now, we start our wish lists during the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving. As we are practicing gratitude for all that we have, we realize we really don’t want much. Creating a wish list over a period of weeks (months, even) has resulted in more meaningful and useful gifts.
As you are working in your daily life, you may think “These scissors hardly cut. Man, it would be really nice to have a good pair of scissors.” Or “My fingers ache every morning from all that gardening. Maybe there is a tool that will help.” When these thoughts occur, stop everything, and write them down. I find that if I don’t take a moment and write ideas down, I forget them. Before you know it, you will have a meaningful list of items you’d really enjoy.
4) Wrap consumable gifts – I want my kids to feel the abundance of love and the excitement of waking up to the magic of Santa’s visit. I get just as excited as they do to see little packages under the tiny tree. Wrapping consumable gifts such as chocolate, incense, paper, candles, and fruit help create the magic without leaving us with clutter. Believe it or not, a giant wrapped chocolate bar is a coveted gift in our house.
5) Limit TV, and catalog viewing, especially with kids – Keep the channel tuned to PBS, so that the kids aren’t exposed to advertising. Ads make toys look like so much fun, but when they show up on Christmas, they are often played with for a few days and forgotten. Encourage extended family to stick to the wish list for gifts.
Just to be sure I’m not making all of this up, I asked Ella and Archer, “What was your favorite Christmas present from last year?” Ella said, “All the stuff in my stocking: the chapstick, the giant candy bar and my teddy bear.” Archer said, “My pocket knife.”
Count your blessings, and enjoy creating your wish list. Until next week!
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