The following post is from Kat of Inspired To Action:
I woke up in the middle of the night to the screams of children. It took me a few minutes to calm down and realize that they were not my children screaming and that they were screams of delight.
We were staying at my brother’s condo. I looked at my whole family, snuggled in one cozy room. They were all peacefully sleeping.
I glanced at the clock. 3am. What in the world? Who are these crazy kids and what kind of parents let their kids stay up until “0 dark nothing” in the morning?!
I tried to fall back asleep, but the noises and my judgmental heart kept me tossing and turning.
I must have dozed off, though, becuase I woke up as the sun was streaming in. More screaming. Laughing.
“Let’s have a snowball fight!”
I must be dreaming. This is South Texas. It hasn’t snowed here…ever. Or at least in over 100 years.
My family was awake processing the same word I was. Snow. We ran to the window and….sure enough. The courtyard was covered in white. Children were laughing, jumping, rolling, staring, freezing.
Most of them had never seen snow. They certainly hadn’t seen it in South Texas… on Christmas Day!
All over the city, grown men and women acted like 5 year olds, full of wonder and joy.
There wasn’t a house without a snowman in front. Albeit a short one. You see, the snow wasn’t more than 2 inches deep. And by noon most of it had melted.
It’s all about perspective.
No one from Colorado would have been impressed. In fact, they might have laughed. Two inches of snow isn’t exciting to people who measure snow in feet.
But for us Texans, that paltry 2 inches of snow made for the best Christmas ever.
Stress Check: Our Expectations…or Theirs?
Sometimes I wonder if we stress ourselves out at Christmas because we put our Colorado expectations onto our Texan children.
Do you follow me? We’ve had 20–30+ years of Christmases. We’ve seen it all. So we think we need to really wow our children. Make it meaningful, do it big, get them expensive gifts, have a party, and lose brain cells trying to think of 25 things to do with an Elf on the Shelf.
In the end, we just end up stressed out mamas not enjoying the joy of the season.
This year? Let’s let go of overwhelming expectations. Our kids haven’t had many Christmases. Their expectations are pretty low. They are thrilled with 2 inches of snow, hot cocoa for breakfast, or the wonder of looking at houses covered in lights.
Toys and traditions are fun, but what really makes the holidays special for your children is you. Embrace the simple pleasures and lets give our children the gift of time with a peace filled mama.
Simple, Fun Memory Makers
So here are 12 simple, fun ways we can spend time with them and make memories without stressing or breaking any budgets.
- Camp out by the tree.
- Go on a hot chocolate pj run.
- Read a christmas book each of the 12 nights of Christmas.
- Have a fire (fireplace or campfire or candle) and story time.
- Tell stories about your favorite Christmas memories.
- Have a family Christmas singalong or karaoke night.
- Attend a Christmas Eve service together.
- Pick out a Christmas gift for someone else.
- Take your kids to a coffee shop, get hot cocoa and pay for the coffee of the person behind you.
- Bake cookies and pass them out to neighbors.
- Go sledding with friends. If you don’t have snow (like me…usually) have a leaf party. Everybody brings a bag of leaves from their years and jump in.
- Watch a Christmas movie.
Christmas doesn’t need to be big. It doesn’t need to be expensive. It doesn’t need to be fancy. After all, the first Christmas was in a stable. It doesn’t get much simpler than that.
What are some ways you keep Christmas simple and focused on relationships?
|Kat blogs at Inspired To Action, a site dedicated to helping moms develop the habits and skills they need to effectively manage their homes and raise children who are prepared to change the world. Kat loves music, running, technology, Jesus and Tex-Mex food. Not necessarily in that order.|