All I Want for Christmas is a Brand New Kid: What “Makes Christmas” for You?



Welcome to the final week of All I Want for Christmas is a Brand New Kid: Teaching Kids Appreciation! This week we discussed your perfect Christmas and the importance of recognizing that it is probably different than that of your family members.

Feeling overwhelmed by the holidays? On last week’s podcast,we gave you tips to manage the huge list of to dos that might be taunting you this time of year. If you’re anything like us, this process revealed there are some things NO ONE wants to do.

A bit eye opening?

As we talk about appreciation this month, consider that people will appreciate your gestures significantly less when you are doing things that they don’t care about.  Certainly, there are things that we need to do in order for our households to run but, at this time of the year, it is worth while to consider whether the items on our huge to do lists actually fit the “need” category.

Do you need to put up lights outside?

Do you need to send out Christmas cards?

How about wrapping gifts? Have you seen the big sacks that you can place all of one person’s gifts into and then they pull one out at a time?

Maybe you don’t need 12 kinds of Christmas cookies.

The point is that somehow when we hear of a fun new idea to try out at the holidays we forget that means that we should consider removing an old tradition that no longer works. Or maybe it’s time to take a break from tradition this year and see how it feels. Does anyone notice if you don’t set up the village that requires half a day?

If you don’t want to go cold turkey and just stop with some of the traditions, consider sitting down with your family and asking them which traditions really “make” Christmas for them and which can be skipped this year. Ask your kids to make a list of what their perfect holiday would look like, but remind them this isn’t a list for Santa, there should be more on their list than all of the gifts they would receive.

You should make your own list. What does your best holiday look like? Include everything from decorations to gifts, time volunteering and kids’ behavior.

Share your lists as a family. You should have a much clearer idea of what really matters this season and what can be left behind. Maybe there are things you are absolutely not willing to compromise on, but at least if you know you’re doing it for yourself and that no one else cares you won’t mind so much if no one appreciates your effort. And maybe there are things on your kids’ lists that you never realized were important to them.

In our family, I could never get away from wrapped gifts under the tree. Putting them in a big sack would be something I wouldn’t compromise on even though I hate wrapping them and hate the waste. There is something important to me in the tradition of guessing what each gift is – of anticipation and secrecy and magic that I wouldn’t get from a lumpy bag of gifts. So as I wrap I do so with the full understanding that I’m doing it for myself. For some reason that makes it more enjoyable.

Our Christmas village on the other hand is something I am completely fine not putting up each year. I do love the way it looks when not zoned in the style of a 7-year old boy (for the full story on that you’ll have to listen to last week’s episode), but I am perfectly fine skipping it.

What is it for you? What makes your perfect Christmas?

We’d love for you to let us know in the comments below and, after you’ve found out what makes a perfect Christmas for the rest of your family, we’d love to hear about that as well. Were there any surprises? Any ways you’re doing things differently? Please share!

Did you miss the previous weeks of this series?
Week One: All I Want For Christmas is a Brand New Kid: Teaching Kids Appreciation
Week Two: All I Want For Christmas is a Brand New Kid: Who Does All of This Stuff Anyway?
Week Three: All I Want For Christmas is a Brand New Kid: Splitting Up the Work.

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