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Holidays for the Holiday Impaired


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#1 Mommy to monkeys

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 10:53 PM

I'm not a holiday person. At all. I had perfectly "normal" holiday celebrations as a child with all of the traditions that go along with that, but never do I remember having any kind of warm fuzzy feelings about it. When I started to have a family of my own, I began to dread holidays because of all the traditions I was supposed to do that go along with celebrating them. I don't like cooking. And anytime I hear the word "craft" or "project", I die a little inside. It's not that I don't want to be thankful at Thanksgiving. I just do better being thankful with a time of quiet reflection rather than....all the other "stuff". I find it all so overwhelming.  We've always participated in family and church gatherings around the holidays, but in my own home...I've kept things as simple as possible. Readings about whichever holiday, discussions, and then music. Essentially that's all. Even having themed decor stresses me out. Whenever there is a multitude of things to DO, I feel robbed of time to just think and BE.

 

My oldest daughter has expressed that she really wants MORE in terms of traditions, but she is not interested in giving me any kind of input (or helping) as to what she's looking for other than the fact that she wants a Christmas tree this year, That I can handle. (We haven't had one in 9 years I think?) 

 

 Just because *I* don't connect with holidays doesn't mean I want to deprive my children of them if it's something they are realizing they do long for at this point and time. I'm hoping to find ways of enriching their holiday experiences without completely draining the life out of me. Is anyone else "holiday impaired"? Have you been able to find ways of making holidays special for your family that you were also able to connect with? And if so, please share. Any other words of wisdom? I know I cannot be the only one in the universe who feels this way, but most of the time I feel as though no one understands at all. Please don't verbally stone me. I've always carried so much guilt over this.


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#2 Catwoman

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 11:30 PM

Please don't feel guilty for feeling the way you do! :grouphug:

I'm one of those people who loves holidays, and I go all-out for them, but that doesn't mean that you should do the same!

I think the best thing you can do is involve your kids. Read about the ways people celebrate holidays and decide together which things sound like they would be fun for your family (or fun for the kids and tolerable for you.)

Kids don't care if everything is perfect, so don't stress too much over this. I don't want to give you advice because my idea of a toned-down Christmas might still be way over the top for you, but I know a lot of people feel exactly the way you do, so I'm sure you'll get lots of great ideas that are festive while still being easy and minimal-fuss.

I think it's very sweet of you to want your kids to have fun holidays! :)
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#3 Ellie

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 11:38 PM

I'm not a holiday person. At all. I had perfectly "normal" holiday celebrations as a child with all of the traditions that go along with that, but never do I remember having any kind of warm fuzzy feelings about it. When I started to have a family of my own, I began to dread holidays because of all the traditions I was supposed to do that go along with celebrating them. I don't like cooking. And anytime I hear the word "craft" or "project", I die a little inside. It's not that I don't want to be thankful at Thanksgiving. I just do better being thankful with a time of quiet reflection rather than....all the other "stuff". I find it all so overwhelming.  We've always participated in family and church gatherings around the holidays, but in my own home...I've kept things as simple as possible. Readings about whichever holiday, discussions, and then music. Essentially that's all. Even having themed decor stresses me out. Whenever there is a multitude of things to DO, I feel robbed of time to just think and BE.

 

My oldest daughter has expressed that she really wants MORE in terms of traditions, but she is not interested in giving me any kind of input (or helping) as to what she's looking for other than the fact that she wants a Christmas tree this year, That I can handle. (We haven't had one in 9 years I think?) 

 

 Just because *I* don't connect with holidays doesn't mean I want to deprive my children of them if it's something they are realizing they do long for at this point and time. I'm hoping to find ways of enriching their holiday experiences without completely draining the life out of me. Is anyone else "holiday impaired"? Have you been able to find ways of making holidays special for your family that you were also able to connect with? And if so, please share. Any other words of wisdom? I know I cannot be the only one in the universe who feels this way, but most of the time I feel as though no one understands at all. Please don't verbally stone me. I've always carried so much guilt over this.

 

:grouphug:

 

I wouldn't expect a 14yo to have much input in what kinds of holiday traditions she might want. She doesn't know, because she's just 14. :-) And it's really up to the adults to figure that stuff out. :-)

 

You don't have to be all Martha Stewart. You can keep it simple: put up just a Christmas tree; your children could draw names at Thanksgiving and give a special Christmas present to the person whose name they draw. Wrap each child's presents in his or her own color. Take turns opening presents on Christmas morning. Have a special breakfast with stuff you made the night before that you just stick in the oven in the morning. Or just a regular breakfast with one special new thing.


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#4 Catwoman

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 11:51 PM

I'm just wondering -- if you don't do a Christmas tree, do you do Christmas stockings or gifts?

I'm just trying to figure out where your starting point is, and what stresses you out so much. Do you do anything special for holiday meals? Do you have any traditions, like reading Christmas stories or playing special games on holidays?

I guess what I'm confused about is what is so overwhelming for you, so hopefully we can figure out how to minimize that. Unfortunately, I know you said you "feel robbed of time to think and just BE" when you have many things to do, but that happens to all of us and sometimes you have to try to change your mindset from feeling put-upon to realizing that you're spending your time doing something that makes your kids happy. If you find a way to turn your focus away from wishing you were doing something else to making it into spending time with your kids doing a fun family thing, that might help a lot.

Could you be over-thinking this? Decorating a Christmas tree and maybe putting a few decorations around the house would only take a few hours of your time. Baking some Christmas cookies could be as simple as buying a package of ready-to-bake cookies from the refrigerated case in your grocery store.
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#5 chiguirre

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Posted 21 October 2017 - 11:58 PM

I'm not a holiday person. At all. I had perfectly "normal" holiday celebrations as a child with all of the traditions that go along with that, but never do I remember having any kind of warm fuzzy feelings about it. When I started to have a family of my own, I began to dread holidays because of all the traditions I was supposed to do that go along with celebrating them. I don't like cooking. And anytime I hear the word "craft" or "project", I die a little inside. It's not that I don't want to be thankful at Thanksgiving. I just do better being thankful with a time of quiet reflection rather than....all the other "stuff". I find it all so overwhelming.  We've always participated in family and church gatherings around the holidays, but in my own home...I've kept things as simple as possible. Readings about whichever holiday, discussions, and then music. Essentially that's all. Even having themed decor stresses me out. Whenever there is a multitude of things to DO, I feel robbed of time to just think and BE.

 

My oldest daughter has expressed that she really wants MORE in terms of traditions, but she is not interested in giving me any kind of input (or helping) as to what she's looking for other than the fact that she wants a Christmas tree this year, That I can handle. (We haven't had one in 9 years I think?) 

 

 Just because *I* don't connect with holidays doesn't mean I want to deprive my children of them if it's something they are realizing they do long for at this point and time. I'm hoping to find ways of enriching their holiday experiences without completely draining the life out of me. Is anyone else "holiday impaired"? Have you been able to find ways of making holidays special for your family that you were also able to connect with? And if so, please share. Any other words of wisdom? I know I cannot be the only one in the universe who feels this way, but most of the time I feel as though no one understands at all. Please don't verbally stone me. I've always carried so much guilt over this.

 

Your older kids are old enough to put up the tree without you if it stresses you out. Last year, Geezle and Trinqueta did our tree on their own and it turned out as well as it did when I did it.


Edited by chiguirre, 22 October 2017 - 12:05 AM.

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#6 Mommy to monkeys

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Posted 22 October 2017 - 12:14 AM

I think the best thing you can do is involve your kids. Read about the ways people celebrate holidays and decide together which things sound like they would be fun for your family (or fun for the kids and tolerable for you.)
 

This is the first time any of them have expressed an interest in actually doing more. I'm open to facilitating some of their ideas...I just can't handle putting it all together and doing it myself, which is what I used to do when I only had small kids.

 

:grouphug:

 

 

You don't have to be all Martha Stewart. You can keep it simple: put up just a Christmas tree; your children could draw names at Thanksgiving and give a special Christmas present to the person whose name they draw. Wrap each child's presents in his or her own color. Take turns opening presents on Christmas morning. Have a special breakfast with stuff you made the night before that you just stick in the oven in the morning. Or just a regular breakfast with one special new thing.

See. Maybe this is part of my problem. My mother is Martha Stewart.  What you're describing doesn't sound nearly as intensive as what I had growing up...and tried to duplicate.

 

I'm just wondering -- if you don't do a Christmas tree, do you do Christmas stockings or gifts?

I'm just trying to figure out where your starting point is, and what stresses you out so much. Do you do anything special for holiday meals? Do you have any traditions, like reading Christmas stories or playing special games on holidays?

I guess what I'm confused about is what is so overwhelming for you, so hopefully we can figure out how to minimize that. Unfortunately, I know you said you "feel robbed of time to think and just BE" when you have many things to do, but that happens to all of us and sometimes you have to try to change your mindset from feeling put-upon to realizing that you're spending your time doing something that makes your kids happy. If you find a way to turn your focus away from wishing you were doing something else to making it into spending time with your kids doing a fun family thing, that might help a lot.

Could you be over-thinking this? Decorating a Christmas tree and maybe putting a few decorations around the house would only take a few hours of your time. Baking some Christmas cookies could be as simple as buying a package of ready-to-bake cookies from the refrigerated case in your grocery store.

 I do make a turkey on Thanksgiving unless we spend it with extended family. We have a Thanksgiving madlibs, and they usually watch the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving movie while I'm cooking.

 

We haven't done Christmas gifts in many years. I have a child with a birthday right before Christmas, so that definitely makes it harder. Last year we went to candlelight Christmas Eve service at church. Then on Christmas Day we read the Christmas Story, got take out, and marathon watched Christmas specials.

 

I generally make big plans as to how I'm going to make a zillion batches up cookies leading up to it (as my mom made a different kind of cookie for all the 12 days of Christmas...) and then burn out after two days.

 

With the decorations, part of the problem is that I have sensory issues. If there is a lot of "stuff" in my space, my brain is spinning and I cannot think.  If we have decor, it needs to be isolated enough for me to have a part of my living space relatively stark.

 

The more I think about it, I really am thinking I need to find our balance between nothing and too much.


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#7 CaliforniaDreaming

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Posted 22 October 2017 - 12:16 AM

Holidays can be weary on every one. You can have a low key holiday and still incorporate a few simple traditions. What do you usually do at home each year?

For Christmas, we like getting new Christmas pajamas every year. We usually go see the Christmas lights at least once with to go cups of hot cocoa and Christmas music in the car. We decorate the tree while listening to Christmas music and might watch a Christmas movie that night. My kids love sausage balls on Christmas morning and a beautiful church service on Christmas eve. Sometimes we will try and go to a show, like the Nutcracker or an orchestra or chorus performing Christmas music during December. I know some families who have a tradition of volunteering at food banks or homeless shelters at Christmas and Thanksgiving.

I have a love of creating traditions but caused myself a lot of stress when my kids were young trying to make it so perfect. Now I am a little wiser, and we can still have the spirit of family traditions eating store bought cookies or whatever. Find a couple of things that sound appealing and not too stressful. Everything doesn't have to be cookie swaps and crafting your own decor. 😉 A tradition should be something you look forward to, not dread.
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#8 CaliforniaDreaming

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Posted 22 October 2017 - 12:25 AM

I don't like a ton of decorating either. I have sensory issues as well and need my environment just so. I do a fairly simple tree and a few other things- stockings and a couple of things on the bookshelf. We have a Jesse Tree for the kitchen table that I made out of a vase and branches. I keep things a bit less colorful and more natural than my kids would prefer (I have vetoed colored blinking tree lights or those type of decorations their whole lives). Sorry kids- mom really has to have a peaceful environment. I enjoy my simple tree with the white lights and a few candles the whole month of December.

I am sure my kids will totally have colorful lights for their kids but I find those kinds of bright decorations disturbing and would not be at peace looking at it every night. I strive to create a simple peaceful Christmas environment that does not create anxiety for me.

Edited by CaliforniaDreaming, 22 October 2017 - 12:27 AM.

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#9 Mommy to monkeys

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Posted 22 October 2017 - 12:28 AM

Holidays can be weary on every one. You can have a low key holiday and still incorporate a few simple traditions. What do you usually do at home each year?

For Christmas, we like getting new Christmas pajamas every year. We usually go see the Christmas lights at least once with to go cups of hot cocoa and Christmas music in the car. We decorate the tree while listening to Christmas music and might watch a Christmas movie that night. My kids love sausage balls on Christmas morning and a beautiful church service on Christmas eve. Sometimes we will try and go to a show, like the Nutcracker or an orchestra or chorus performing Christmas music during December. I know some families who have a tradition of volunteering at food banks or homeless shelters at Christmas and Thanksgiving.

I have a love of creating traditions but caused myself a lot of stress when my kids were young trying to make it so perfect. Now I am a little wiser, and we can still have the spirit of family traditions eating store bought cookies or whatever. Find a couple of things that sound appealing and not too stressful. Everything doesn't have to be cookie swaps and crafting your own decor.  😉 A tradition should be something you look forward to, not dread.

I was so afraid to ask this, but I'm so grateful I did. These kinds of ideas are so helpful. I'm going to get as many non craft/cooking ideas down on paper as possible and let my kids pick the ones they'd like the most. Maybe they each pick one for the season? We shall see. I don't want to overplan...this has been my downfall. Plan too much, fail, and then do nothing. Then feel guilty. Determine to try again next year. Repeat.

 

And thank you, Jesus that everything doesn't have to be cookie swaps and crafting my own decor. 


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#10 Mommyof1

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Posted 22 October 2017 - 12:48 AM

My DH has never really been big on holidays either.

Thanksgiving is just the 3 of us and he doesn't want me feeling I have to make a huge dinner, like I'm used to. We both fix the dinner. He does the turkey breast and I do whatever sides I want. DD4 helps me make homemade pie. We have just enough left over for me to have leftovers the next day, the way I like it. Plus pumpkin pie for breakfast. A tradition I started with my daughter.

Christmas eve, we go look at lights and listen to Christmas music (weather permitted). Christmas morning at home, just us. Then we drop off gifts with his family (short visits) and go home to a quiet dinner.

Decorations minimal. None for Thanksgiving. Just a small fake tree for Christmas and stockings.

DD4 loves decorations and wants a real tree. DH will give her what she wants but he will try to negotiate it down.
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#11 fraidycat

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Posted 22 October 2017 - 12:50 AM

I am holiday impaired!! Because I choose to be.

Part of it is the burnout and growing disdain for holidays I’ve seen in my own mom who put a lot if effort into family get-togethers and tradition, only to end up feeling used and unappreciated. For me, the stress isn’t worth it.

Part of it is that my life is not “traditional” in that we move a lot - so rarely have the same group for larger gatherings and my kids don’t care about “holiday food”, so Thanksgiving is whatever we feel like having that day, for instance. Sometimes we’ll do turkey with all the fixings, but it’s not a requirement.

Part of it is that when I got married and moved away, and wasn’t able to partake in my traditional family gatherings, I “lost” whole holidays because even though DH and I celebrated in our own way, they didn’t seem “real” enough to remain in my memory bank. Not that they were bad, I just plain didn’t remember them happening! I’d talk about “last Christmas”, which would actually be 2-3 Christmases ago, because to me, Christmas had LOTS of people at it, and things were done a certain way that just didn’t make sense to recreate for 2-4 people. I wanted each holiday to stand on it’s own merits for my kids - for them to be memorable because they were different, not because they were all the same. I don’t know if I’m explaining this one very well.

One tradition we have done is a Christmas tree and gifts every year, but this year might be the year that changes, too. Nobody needs more “stuff”. We might just go on a small vacation instead.

ETA: Movies and snacks sounds like a simple tradition that can happen without too much fuss. Maybe a couple decor pieces. You can designate one corner or one window or whatever for seasonal decor. Keep it to 3-5 pieces and call it good. Window clings and wreaths are easy and don’t take up too much room on display, or in storage.

Edited by fraidycat, 22 October 2017 - 01:02 AM.

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#12 Mommyof1

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Posted 22 October 2017 - 12:58 AM

There are a few traditions I will implement when she is a little older, DD4. Serve Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner to the homeless. Make fudge together as a family.
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#13 Lori D.

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Posted 22 October 2017 - 01:04 AM

Really, it's just about doing something you all enjoy, and then doing it again the next year, and next... and you have a tradition. :)

 

Strangely, we developed a non-traditional tradition (lol) for Thanksgiving -- sleep in, watch the National Dog Show around noon while still in pajamas, late afternoon go to the park and throw the frisbee around together, while throwing a ball for the dog to chase, and then make a simple baked pasta for dinner and serve with rosemary bread and a salad -- plus the pumpkin pie that was made the day before. ;) [We host a more traditional dinner the weekend before for the in-town relatives, so then we can have the day of the holiday off and relax.]

 

Christmas traditions are nice to sprinkle in throughout the month, which allows you to keep them simple, but doing several smaller traditions builds the anticipation for the holiday. Each year, early in December, we go out to the local import store and each person picks out a Christmas tree ornament, so the children have built up a collection of ornaments they can take with them when they move out. Another thing we enjoy throughout the month of December is reading through The Father Christmas Letters by JRR Tolkien -- a letter or two a night (DSs continued to enjoy that from little bitty up to over 20!)

 

For Halloween, we have had fun getting pumpkins and making our own creative designs (frequently not remotely like a jack-o-lantern face) -- almost like luminarias -- for the trick-or-treaters to enjoy. Added little tradition: we rinse the pumpkin seeds, dry, toss with olive oil and salt and bake at about 275˚ for 20 minutes, till toasted, and then munch on those while watching a movie like Young Frankenstein.

 

"Doing" holidays is just taking an hour or three to do something fun that you all enjoy and would have fun repeating the next year as your own personal family tradition, which makes the holiday special -- and uniquely your way of celebrating.

 

Wishing you and your family all the BEST as you think about what you'd like to do to make some family fun memories together. :) Warmest regards, Lori D.

 

 

 

 I do make a turkey on Thanksgiving unless we spend it with extended family. We have a Thanksgiving madlibs, and they usually watch the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving movie while I'm cooking.

 

We haven't done Christmas gifts in many years. I have a child with a birthday right before Christmas, so that definitely makes it harder. Last year we went to candlelight Christmas Eve service at church. Then on Christmas Day we read the Christmas Story, got take out, and marathon watched Christmas specials.

 

PS - Those sound lovely! 


Edited by Lori D., 22 October 2017 - 10:16 AM.

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#14 Mommyof1

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Posted 22 October 2017 - 01:12 AM

I forgot Halloween.

We take her to the pumpkin patch to get one. Family time.

Halloween party at the library.

DD4 dress up and we take her trick or treating and we make sure to visit Grandma.
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#15 MEmama

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Posted 22 October 2017 - 05:46 AM

Holidays are light here too. When DS was younger---up until the past couple years, really--he would get really stressed out in December, so I learned to keep decorations and super simple and decor to a minimum. It wasn't always easy on me that our home didn't burst with the same bustle and sense of anticipation as my friends' holiday homes did, but in time I embraced it and now it feels right and true for us.

For us, fairy lights on the mantle (all winter), a handful of Nordic items like gnomes and a nutcracker, a wreath on the front door, and some gathered items from the woods dresses up our house and makes it feel festive without feeling cluttered.

Traditions are simple and evolved over time to suit us. Mostly it involves watching favourite holiday movies. No crafts, very rarely any baking at all. Holiday meals are super simple. Thanksgiving is whatever, Christmas Eve we get Indian takeout and eat in the living room while watching A Christmas Story. Christmas is leftovers. :)

Learning how to break free of the expectations (whether real or imagined) and learning to do YOU can be hard, but it's so worth it. Your kids are definitely old enough to have a say in what they'd like to experience during the holidays, and old enough to respect that Mom can't go all out Martha.

Can you make a game of it? Maybe write ideas down of things you can handle on strips of paper and have each kid choose one out of a jar, one each week of December? It doesn't have to be extravagant--hot cocoa as a family at Starbucks, attend a tree lighting, bake ONE type of cookie (ha!), go for a family nature walk and collect pine cones....whatever. Simple activities have a way of meaning more than store bought STUFF, and have a way of evolving into effortless traditions.
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#16 HomeAgain

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Posted 22 October 2017 - 05:49 AM

I've read this over quite a bit, and I don't think your holidays sound bad at all.  I think they sound peaceful. :)

 

Holiday trappings stress me out, too.  We have come to the conclusion that it IS a holiday.  It is not Mom's Overtime Shift.  We focus on a few things:

 

-peace

-giving cheerfully

-togetherness

 

I cannot cook a 5 course meal and be cheerful about it.  Dh can, and does.  That's his strength.

I get overwhelmed put up a tree.  DS loves it, along with decorating the house.  He takes charge and does it with the rest of the family while I make cocoa and am in charge of music.

I can read well.  I do the nightly stories for the month.  That is my gift to the family.

 

 

When I was a kid it was very overwhelming.  I had the mom who baked and sewed and did yearly crafts with us.  I cannot even try to replicate that.  The things I like now are the advent wreath for reflection, the daily calendar with a small thing to do each day (like go to the parade, or read a story, or watch Charlie Brown), and the focus on being together. 


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#17 Carrie12345

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Posted 22 October 2017 - 06:38 AM

I don't really have any worthwhile advice, because I just push through it.  I DO love all of the traditions and decorations, so it isn't a lack of feeling for me, just the exhaustion that's an issue.  One of my favorite days is UNDOING Christmas so I can have my less-cluttered house back.


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#18 marbel

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Posted 22 October 2017 - 07:02 AM

Really, it's just about doing something you all enjoy, and then doing it again the next year, and next... and you have a tradition. :)

 

 

This is what I was thinking.  I don't think anyone can intentionally start a new tradition.  They just happen.  And sometimes they change.

 

When my kids were little, our Thanksgiving tradition was to have a big group of friends over for dinner.  We had a big dining room and could fit 30 people at folding tables in there.  Everyone brought food but we hosted simply because we had the biggest space. It was a great tradition. And then we moved away, and there went that tradition. For a few years, Thanksgiving was nothing special.

 

Last  year we decided to try something new for Thanksgiving.  We went to a cabin in the woods. I took a modified version of our typical dinner to cook and we had a wonderful time. We are doing it again this year.  A tradition is being born!  Except, my kids are 18 and 20, so it won't be long, most likely, before that tradition changes again.

 

Anyway, all that to say, traditions grow organically, and sometimes evolve over time.

 

I'd ask your daughter if she can think of one fun thing she'd like to do.  Make a fresh wreath for the door?  Go for a drive around town looking at lights, or to a community tree-lighting ceremony, or out to a tree farm to cut down a tree?   Plan to make one or two different types of cookies or other treats?  (Not 10 different types.)  Have an open house with friends and neighbors?  Would she like to have something with her friends - maybe a cookie-decorating party?  

 

I'm guessing your daughter is seeing other people doing fun things at Christmas, talking about their traditions, and it is attractive to her.  Of course I could be wrong on that.  At that age, my daughter was always looking at other families and comparing.  Sometimes we came out favorably, sometimes not. :-)  That's not a complaint, just the way she is.  


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#19 Rebel Yell

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Posted 22 October 2017 - 07:07 AM

This is the first time any of them have expressed an interest in actually doing more.

We haven't done Christmas gifts in many years. I have a child with a birthday right before Christmas, so that definitely makes it harder. Last year we went to candlelight Christmas Eve service at church. Then on Christmas Day we read the Christmas Story, got take out, and marathon watched Christmas specials.

I generally make big plans as to how I'm going to make a zillion batches up cookies leading up to it (as my mom made a different kind of cookie for all the 12 days of Christmas...) and then burn out after two days.

With the decorations, part of the problem is that I have sensory issues. If there is a lot of "stuff" in my space, my brain is spinning and I cannot think. If we have decor, it needs to be isolated enough for me to have a part of my living space relatively stark.

(parts of OP snipped for space)

I am greatly in favor of simplicity, and not overdoing holidays (plus I'm broke and lazy, LOL!) but I do try to make things happen so my kids have happy memories and something to look forward to. My girls do a lot of the decorating and preparations. I hang out nearby and provide snacks.

BIRTHDAYS/GIFTS. One child has a birthday on or near Thanksgiving, another a few days before Christmas. We celebrate their birthday as if it were any other time of year, but since we aren't able to have several family gatherings for a birthday and holiday in the same week, with family (just grandmas) they get a birthday candle on the dessert of their choice, not just stuck in the pumpkin pie ;) Gifts can be simplified, and even very practical. Stocking stuffers are things we'd normally buy year round- toothbrush, character band aids, pocket size tissues, lip balm, candy, socks, pencils, etc. Regular gifts can also be "boring" like new pajamas, underwear, books, a new pillow fills a large box nicely, gloves/hat/scarf... It sounds like you might prefer they be wrapped in plain paper, maybe even brown kraft paper so thy blend in better than neon green movie character with glitter? :D The goal can be to have a few things for them to open up. My girls really did enjoy getting underwear- whether it was in their days of character-6-packs, or the upgraded Target 5/$20 stuff.

COOKIES. The thought of Christmas cookies gives me hives. My mom was NOT a Martha Stewart, but she tried to be with Christmas cookies and I still can't laugh about it, it was so bad. I realized all my kids cared about was decorating and eating cookies. Baking wasn't the main event. So I found frozen pre-shaped dough at a restaurant supply store (Gordon Food Service) so we just loaded th frozen cookies onto trays, bake, cool, decorate. I also bought their tub of white icing, and bought some containers of sprinkles. You could also have a bakery/grocery store bakery sell you baked undecorated cookies.

DECORATIONS Maybe instead of "Christmas" decorations aim for a little more "winter" such as a red tablecloth with white dishes, or a "theme" of silver and white? It doesn't have to look like Dr. Seuss' Whoville to look like Christmas. Except for our tree, almost everything we decorate with could be out from Halloween through Valentines Day and not look ridiculous. With a theme, it could be easier for your kids to help you. Instead of wandering around Walmart being overwhelmed, tell her that you'll spend $XX.00 on silver and white decor, and see what she finds. Then it's easy to say "No" to the neon animated light-up honking Christmas goose, LOL!!!

Look here... this may be a planner for way more than you'll ever need, but it breaks things down into manageable parts. Gomthrough it with DD and a sharpie to mark out the irrelevant parts, and get some ideas for new traditions. You may end up blacking out 90+% of it, but skim through it as a guide. http://www.flylady.n...pdf/hoj_coj.pdf

Traditions can be about doing stuff outside the house too- no clutter, LOL! Go ice skating and have the family wear silly knit hats or crazy color scarves. Wear pajamas or character onesies, bring hot chocolate in travel cups and drive around looking at lights. Go to local schools holidays music or chorus concerts. Go see a small ballet studios Nutcracker.

I believe you can do this very simply, and it will be enough of a boost that your kids will love it, and still maintain your peace. Let me be the first to wish you Merry Christmas!

Edited by Rebel Yell, 22 October 2017 - 07:10 AM.

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#20 chiguirre

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Posted 22 October 2017 - 07:15 AM

 

 

We haven't done Christmas gifts in many years. I have a child with a birthday right before Christmas, so that definitely makes it harder. Last year we went to candlelight Christmas Eve service at church. Then on Christmas Day we read the Christmas Story, got take out, and marathon watched Christmas specials.

 

I generally make big plans as to how I'm going to make a zillion batches up cookies leading up to it (as my mom made a different kind of cookie for all the 12 days of Christmas...) and then burn out after two days.

 

 

 

If you haven't done Christmas gifts, don't! It's way too much pressure to find the perfect thing for each kid. Just.don't.go.there. If your kids are ready to rebel, pick a class of gift (pajamas, socks, sweater, fleecy, hats/gloves, whatever works for your climate) and get everyone just that one item. They'll have something to open. You can all look coordinated in your Christmas gear. They're practical items you'd need to buy anyway so they won't add to the clutter. If your littles like play silks, they make great holiday wrapping. You just fasten them with ponytail holders and they look very pretty under the tree.

 

Your older kids are old enough to pick a cookie recipe and make it themselves. The 9 yo and (maybe) the 7 yo could make simple recipes with oven supervision. The 5 yos can help decorate gingerbread men or sugar cookies (Pillsbury is totally fine if that's what you can handle). That's lots of kinds of cookies and you don't have to go full Martha.


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#21 mmasc

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Posted 22 October 2017 - 07:23 AM

My favorite tradition that we started several years ago is to read a bunch of Christmas/winter themed books starting in December. Most are beautiful picture books, and many we read every single year...and just like that, a tradition is born! I got my lists from different places, and if we tried a book and loved it, I’d purchase it to have for the next year.
I agree with other PP that all you really need to do is to do something you actually enjoy, and repeat year after year for it to become a tradition and memory. :) Popcorn and movie every Thanksgiving night (same movie), sleep on the family room floor together every Christmas Eve, Pad Thai every Halloween night, donuts for breakfast on Christmas morning....really, just whatever your family enjoys!

ETA: And don’t worry about the Martha Stewarts in your life. I love that I can come up with my OWN traditions for MY nuclear family, and it doesn’t have to be like anyone else’s!

Edited by mmasc, 22 October 2017 - 07:24 AM.

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#22 Mommyof1

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Posted 22 October 2017 - 07:46 AM

When DH is at work DD4 and I would listen to Christmas music and watch Christmas movies. We would also get Christmas related books from the library. We would also watch Christmas light extreme shows.
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#23 regentrude

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Posted 22 October 2017 - 08:06 AM

I have struggled with holidays, because we are first generation immigrants, and Christmas makes me miss my parents and siblings, and the traditions from home. For years, I have tried to recreate the magical holidays of my childhood, and it was never "enough".

 

I have chosen to create new traditions and celebrate the holidays in a way that *I* find enjoyable. There are things I don't do: I don't do crafts, I only do minimal decorating, I do not attend a multitude of holiday themed events. I talked to the kids and asked them what traditions they found most enjoyable and important, and those we kept. The rest got dumped. Instead of baking seven kinds of my grandmother's cookies, I only bake two. 

 

We spend the holidays enjoying time together, but don't feel forced to do certain things on certain days. It was very freeing to realize that I have the right to go hiking on Christmas day if that's the day the weather is nice, and to move the Christmas feast to a different day.

For Thanksgiving, we invite friends and have a good time eating and chatting. 

 


Edited by regentrude, 22 October 2017 - 08:07 AM.

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#24 Alessandra

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Posted 22 October 2017 - 08:33 AM

Well, I like most holidays, but we got tired of Hallowe'en. A bazillion trick or treaters at our door, costumes to make or buy, spooky decorations, buying junk at the party store.

I still like our Hallowe'en lights, but I do not get them out. I gave away our orange china with haunted house design and our jack o'lantern bowls, etc. Indescribly ugly. So our new tradition is to turn off the lights, draw the curtains, and hide in the back of the house. Each kid gets to buy one bag of favorite candy and eat it. Done.

For food type holidays, have you considered buying the meal at a local supermarket. Or just buy the sides and desserts?

For another tradition, you could let each kid choose a holiday movie.
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#25 Julie Smith

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Posted 22 October 2017 - 08:36 AM

I don’t connect to any holiday traditions.

But my mom does, so we celebrate almost every single holiday totally at her house. She likes all those tradition things, and really likes having her family around.
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#26 Word Nerd

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Posted 22 October 2017 - 08:53 AM

Holiday celebrations and traditions don’t need to be all or nothing. It sounds like you have unreasonable expectations for yourself about what you’re “supposed to” do if you would incorporate a few holiday traditions you remember—so you don’t do any of them. If you want to make cookies, why set out to make a zillion? Pick one variety or just make several batches on one dedicated day. If you want to start giving gifts, have a simple theme for gifts like pajamas, books, fun T-shirts, or games.

Edited by Word Nerd, 22 October 2017 - 08:54 AM.

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#27 KrissiK

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Posted 22 October 2017 - 09:19 AM

I get a little weary with the holidays, too. Perhaps you can make a list of things that you would be willing to do that don't take too much out of you. Look at things that go on in your community for the Holidays. In our town the first Thursday of December is the Electrical Farm Equipment Parade. It's a nighttime Christmas parade with lots of lights and fun! And requires nothing of me but to load the family up with some blankets and chairs. Sometimes I'll bring a carafe of hot chocolate. But ot is quite a tradition in our family now. Other towns might have Christmas Tree Lane or something you can drive down and see other peoples' lights. That can easily become a tradition and you don't have to do much for that except go.

Edited by KrissiK, 22 October 2017 - 09:20 AM.

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#28 slr1765

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Posted 22 October 2017 - 11:07 AM

I would cancel all holidays if I could. They are just so much work and I'm left an exhausted mess by the end of the day and then pay for it days afterward. I dread this time of year.


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#29 MrsBasil

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Posted 22 October 2017 - 11:35 AM

I like holidays, but I keep them in a way to continue liking them.  I don't enjoy putting up a lot of decorations, but I like having a tree.  We have a tree, we hang stockings, and because my husband likes to decorate for the holidays-he does all the other decor.  If he didn't love it, we wouldn't do it.  I make one or two kinds of cookies.  We have our big meal on Christmas Eve and have a buffet of snacks, treats, and appetizers on Christmas Day.  I like to cook(and eat) so this is fun and my kids have started wanting to help.  We play board games on Christmas Eve, usually we get one new game that "mysteriously" shows up under the tree or on our front porch when no is looking.  We drive around and look at Christmas lights sometime in the week leading up to Christmas.  I have a stack of picture books we've collected and I read them aloud throughout December...although this year my son doesn't seem into picture books so maybe that will just be my dd and I. 

 

Find things your whole family can enjoy and do together.  A movie, a book, or anything. It doesn't have to be fancy, hard, Pinterest worthy, what you did as a child at all.  Just things that work for your family, including you!  The closest to crafting I come is when I buy gingerbread house kits and let the kids have at it with the frosting and candy. 


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#30 Liz CA

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Posted 22 October 2017 - 11:52 AM

Sounds like a lot of your apprehension comes from what other may expect because of their perception of a perfect Thanksgiving or Christmas. If you dislike cooking, I can see that this is stressful because such a large part of the holidays seem to center around food preparation, presentation and eating.

There is really nothing wrong with making this easy on yourself - and therefore your family by serving non-traditional food or have it premade by some place that delivers the fare the day before.

I'd just work around the hurdles and enjoy the day. Let your Mom be Martha and you are you. Be comfortable in your boots. ;)

 

PS: I nearly break out in a cold sweat when I hear "crafting" unless my dear friend is with me because she knows what she is doing. I do enjoy cooking though but it is still a lot of work.


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#31 solascriptura

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Posted 22 October 2017 - 02:08 PM

I can totally relate. Most ladies look at me as if I have two heads when I say I hate decorating or crafting. As if being crafty is inherent in my gender. I’ve had to plan Christmas parties and the stress of decorating my home was incredibly overwhelming. Then I had to arrange crafts and games for the kids? It almost put me over the edge. Hahah.
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#32 Mommy to monkeys

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Posted 23 October 2017 - 11:34 PM

I am holiday impaired!! Because I choose to be.

Part of it is the burnout and growing disdain for holidays I’ve seen in my own mom who put a lot if effort into family get-togethers and tradition, only to end up feeling used and unappreciated. For me, the stress isn’t worth it.

 

I've seen this in my own mother. She does LOVE all the holiday stuff but does end up feeling this way. 

 




Learning how to break free of the expectations (whether real or imagined) and learning to do YOU can be hard, but it's so worth it. Your kids are definitely old enough to have a say in what they'd like to experience during the holidays, and old enough to respect that Mom can't go all out Martha.

Can you make a game of it? Maybe write ideas down of things you can handle on strips of paper and have each kid choose one out of a jar, one each week of December? It doesn't have to be extravagant--hot cocoa as a family at Starbucks, attend a tree lighting, bake ONE type of cookie (ha!), go for a family nature walk and collect pine cones....whatever. Simple activities have a way of meaning more than store bought STUFF, and have a way of evolving into effortless traditions.

I'm in process of making a list of things for this right now. Things I know *I* can handle. I do love the idea of spreading it out over the month of December so Christmas isn't just one grueling day.

 

I've read this over quite a bit, and I don't think your holidays sound bad at all.  I think they sound peaceful. :)

 

Holiday trappings stress me out, too.  We have come to the conclusion that it IS a holiday.  It is not Mom's Overtime Shift.  We focus on a few things:

 

-peace

-giving cheerfully

-togetherness

 

I cannot cook a 5 course meal and be cheerful about it.  Dh can, and does.  That's his strength.

I get overwhelmed put up a tree.  DS loves it, along with decorating the house.  He takes charge and does it with the rest of the family while I make cocoa and am in charge of music.

I can read well.  I do the nightly stories for the month.  That is my gift to the family.

 

 

When I was a kid it was very overwhelming.  I had the mom who baked and sewed and did yearly crafts with us.  I cannot even try to replicate that.  The things I like now are the advent wreath for reflection, the daily calendar with a small thing to do each day (like go to the parade, or read a story, or watch Charlie Brown), and the focus on being together. 

 

You sound very much like me in this post.

 

 

 

I'd ask your daughter if she can think of one fun thing she'd like to do.  Make a fresh wreath for the door?  Go for a drive around town looking at lights, or to a community tree-lighting ceremony, or out to a tree farm to cut down a tree?   Plan to make one or two different types of cookies or other treats?  (Not 10 different types.)  Have an open house with friends and neighbors?  Would she like to have something with her friends - maybe a cookie-decorating party?  

 

I'm guessing your daughter is seeing other people doing fun things at Christmas, talking about their traditions, and it is attractive to her.  Of course I could be wrong on that.  At that age, my daughter was always looking at other families and comparing.  Sometimes we came out favorably, sometimes not. :-)  That's not a complaint, just the way she is.  

 

This is exactly what's happening.  And honestly, Im happy she's telling me now that she wants more rather than telling me 20 years from now that holidays were a huge disappointment.  She's currently working on pinterest boards dedicated to holidays. I've told her I'm open to facilitating her projects (ie me not leading and doing everything)


For food type holidays, have you considered buying the meal at a local supermarket. Or just buy the sides and desserts?

For another tradition, you could let each kid choose a holiday movie.

 

I asked my kids about the holiday meal they want, and shockingly they all care very little about it aside from the dessert....  We've done take out for the past few years, and they're happy with that. Buffet style take out food and then parking ourselves in the living room to watch movies is something they're happy with. 

I don’t connect to any holiday traditions.

But my mom does, so we celebrate almost every single holiday totally at her house. She likes all those tradition things, and really likes having her family around.

Ditto to the first part. And my mom also is like this. We've gone to my parents' house for holidays before, which does make my mom happy...but then I feel guilty because of how drained she is after.

 

Holiday celebrations and traditions don’t need to be all or nothing. It sounds like you have unreasonable expectations for yourself about what you’re “supposed to” do if you would incorporate a few holiday traditions you remember—so you don’t do any of them. If you want to make cookies, why set out to make a zillion? Pick one variety or just make several batches on one dedicated day. If you want to start giving gifts, have a simple theme for gifts like pajamas, books, fun T-shirts, or games.

I tend to have unreasonable expectations of myself in general. I'm working on it.

 

I would cancel all holidays if I could. They are just so much work and I'm left an exhausted mess by the end of the day and then pay for it days afterward. I dread this time of year.

:iagree:

 

I can totally relate. Most ladies look at me as if I have two heads when I say I hate decorating or crafting. As if being crafty is inherent in my gender. I’ve had to plan Christmas parties and the stress of decorating my home was incredibly overwhelming. Then I had to arrange crafts and games for the kids? It almost put me over the edge. Hahah.

It's very unfair that people think this.  I expressed to a close friend my disdain for having to do any kind of craft project. She then invited us over and surprised me with....a craft project. So I could somehow be cured of my disdain from them? She meant well.


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#33 Amber in SJ

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Posted 24 October 2017 - 01:45 AM

Pinterest is the bane of my existence because I have 3 artistic/ crafty daughters & I am neither of those things.  Dh is way more into the holidays than I am so I let him be in charge of developing the family traditions :) 

 

If I could just do holiday stuff it would be OK, but adding holiday stuff to my regular stuff is too much.

 

I avoid Halloween like the plague.  All that candy makes me crazy, so Dh takes them to the trunk or treat at church & neighborhood trick or treating.  Our holiday tradition is they get to choose 10 pieces & the "Great Pumpkin" comes & takes the rest of the candy away and leaves a book or a game or something else.   Chocolate goes into the freezer for baking, other candy gets hidden for future trips to the movies.

 

Thanksgiving is never at my house  so I cook whatever I am assigned.  I have tried to do every pilgrim/ gratitude thing under the sun but none of them stuck as a tradition.  Although my big kids remember with horror the time we all crowded into our dark, windowless bathroom, ate old, hard crackers & drank stale water while crashing ocean sounds played on the CD player to simulate conditions on the Mayflower :)  What can I say?  It was a phase.  

 

On the Monday after Thanksgiving we have a family meeting.  I usually have dates for end of school, Nutcracker performances, neighborhood light displays, 

church parties, etc by then.  We each get a calendar & we choose the things that fit.  When do we get the tree?  What day do we make treats for the friends/ teachers/ coaches & neighbors?  What evening do we drive downtown to see the lights?  And so on.  With the calendar in hand I can't get surprised everyone is on the same page.  What day do we go pick up the Christmas Eve raviolis? The dates get put on the kitchen family calendar and the kids keep their calendars with them.  Someone invites you to something you can look at your calendar figure it out.  

 

For New Years Eve we have a movie marathon.  Sometimes we pick something obvious like all the Star Wars movies or all the Marvel Super Hero movies.  Sometimes we choose something silly like pre-meltdown Lindsey Lohan movies :)  We take nominations for movie marathon themes around the beginning of December and then vote so we can be sure we rent/ borrow or buy any movies we don't own.  On Christmas day we do the big reveal of what the movie marathon theme is.

 

Disappointment comes when expectations are not met, so I try to be realistic in my expectations.  Can I make 12 different kinds of cookies?  Of course I can, but it will not be peaceful or fulfilling, so I make a really big batch of one kind of cookie and call it good.

 

I tell my family I am not the cruise director of this ship and it is not my job to manage everyone's expectations.  

 

I am the bomb at other times of the year, the fall/ winter holidays just don't do anything for me, so I don't beat myself up about it :)

 

I say keep it low-key and let that be your tradition.

 

Amber in SJ


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#34 Kassia

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Posted 24 October 2017 - 07:19 AM

I am not crafty at all.  I like baking, but can't resist most baked goods (as in I can't stop eating them once I start) and my kids are really healthy eaters so I don't do much baking either.  My biggest problem is finding something all of my kids enjoy.  Two are pretty easygoing, two are not.  I get so overwhelmed and frustrated trying to find something everyone wants to do.  I want to have fun holiday traditions and fun memories and quality time, but it's almost impossible to find things to do that everyone likes.  Now that my sons are grown, we have so little time as a family and I want to make the most of it when everyone is home, but it's hard.  

 

 


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#35 J-rap

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Posted 24 October 2017 - 08:18 AM

I love Christmas, and I love the feel of it too when I'm home.  But I'm often surprised at how little it takes to make a home feel Christmasy.  We do get a tree and our house is small, so if you're anywhere on the main floor, you're with the tree.  Other than that, throw around a few garlands, light an evergreen-scented candle, and find a radio station that plays Christmas music.  (I'm picky about my Christmas music though -- I like traditional Christmas songs, so I usually play them on CD's or stream them on my computer or whatever.  NPR plays really beautiful Christmas or sacred music as it gets closer to Christmas.)  We play Christmas music all day in the background.

 

That's really all we do.  We don't put lights on the outside of the house, things in our yard, etc.  The house isn't decorated all over inside.

 

I've never been much of a holiday baker, so was thrilled when my dd wanted to do that!  And then she got her sisters involved.  Maybe your dd would like to take that on?  We did do a few crafts when the kids were younger, but that's because I enjoyed them.  :)  And again, you can make those super easy.  Often during the holidays, you can find simple kits that have everything kids need to make some Christmasy items, like ornaments.  Making Christmas cards or gift tags is easy with construction paper and magazines and markers, and that's something kids can pretty much do on their own.  Oh one project that we all really enjoyed was making our own wrapping paper with either plain white wrap or brown paper bags cut open, and homemade stamps.  (You can cut a design on the surface of a potato half, dip it into paint, and use that.)

 

And of course you can always watch a few Christmas movies to get things going!

 

 

 


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#36 meganrussell

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Posted 24 October 2017 - 08:42 AM

A few of my fondest Christmas memories:

Christmas music playing throughout the house from the day after Thanksgiving until New year's.

Hot chocolate and old Christmas movies.

Our candlelight service at church.
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#37 Aura

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Posted 24 October 2017 - 08:59 AM

I was so afraid to ask this, but I'm so grateful I did. These kinds of ideas are so helpful. I'm going to get as many non craft/cooking ideas down on paper as possible and let my kids pick the ones they'd like the most. Maybe they each pick one for the season? We shall see. I don't want to overplan...this has been my downfall. Plan too much, fail, and then do nothing. Then feel guilty. Determine to try again next year. Repeat.

 

And thank you, Jesus that everything doesn't have to be cookie swaps and crafting my own decor. 

 

Do what makes you happy. (I'm assuming a bit here, so bear with me...) You don't want a bunch of fuss or time-consuming details. Your kids want something a little more to be Christmas. Here's a few simple thoughts, some that's been mentioned before. Pick and choose, one thing or three. BUT DO WHAT BRINGS YOU JOY. For me, I'd choose one or two things the kids can do and then ooh and ahh over them. 

 

1. Christmas tree. Let the kids be in charge of it. Let them do as much as they can. At 14, your dd can pretty much do anything. The only thing I would be worried about is the cost of decorations, if I didn't have them. I can see a 14 yr old going crazy and spending way too much on tree ornaments!

 

2. Pre-packaged Christmas themed cookies. Stick 'em on a plate for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, tree-decorating time, whenever works for you. (Hot cocoa works, too!)

 

3. Christmas music. YouTube or Pandora on the television. Do a quick search, and you're good to go!

 

4. Candles. Don't even need to be Christmas-themed or scented, but a few extra candles lit at night during the Christmas season is very simple.

 

5. A wreath on your front door. That's it. One wreath. Or one other decoration of your choice to sit next to the door. Just one. Let the kids pick it out, if you like.

 

6. Stockings.  Let the kids each pick out their own stocking, if they don't have one. Get something easy to fill it with like their favorite snack foods or socks. 

 

7. Christmas movies. Do you have any movies that you or your kids like that have a Christmas theme to them? Watch them sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

 

8. Snowflakes. It is a craft, but it's a simple as you can get. Give the kids plain copy paper and scissors and let them cut snowflakes. Tape them to a window where they can be admired. Throw them away after Christmas.

 

9. Let each kid have specific task. Be it something mentioned above or their own thing. Let them own Christmas and you sit back and enjoy!

 

10. Christmas lights. One evening close to Christmas, drive around town and look at Christmas lights. Make it a relaxing time! Get dressed in pjs, if you want. Take your coffee or hot cocoa or run through drive thru and just enjoy the show. 

 

Okay, I have been on the forums wayyy too long this morning...off to do actual work! :leaving: 


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#38 Lori D.

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Posted 24 October 2017 - 10:46 AM

I'm not a holiday person... I don't like cooking. And anytime I hear the word "craft" or "project", I die a little inside...

...I find it all so overwhelming... Whenever there is a multitude of things to DO, I feel robbed of time to just think and BE.

 

...I'm hoping to find ways of enriching their holiday experiences without completely draining the life out of me...

 

...My mother is Martha Stewart.

 

Perfect solution for everyone: Make a tradition of each December, the kids visit your mom for a day and she does the Martha Stewart cookies or crafts with them. Your kids get a tradition of doing holiday activities, your mom and your kids get a special time together, and you get a day of rest. :)  :hurray:

 

 

10. Christmas lights. One evening close to Christmas, drive around town and look at Christmas lights. Make it a relaxing time! Get dressed in pjs, if you want. Take your coffee or hot cocoa or run through drive thru and just enjoy the show. 

 

Loved all of your ideas Aura, but this one reminds me of my sister -- she does this exactly (PJs, hot cocoa, drive around looking at lights) and they call it "going for a Christmas sleigh ride". :)


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#39 perkybunch

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Posted 24 October 2017 - 11:33 AM

For most holidays, I just decorate the fireplace mantel.  That way, the clutter is contained.  

 

The best thing I ever did for Christmas was buy a fake, pre-lit Christmas tree whose limbs are already attached.  There's like 3 things you have to do, and it's ready to go.  Saved me hours and hours of time.  I no longer dread putting up the tree.  I get it done in five minutes, and then put the tub of ornaments out for anyone to put on the tree as they wish.

 

((hugs))  It sounds like you already have some very nice Christmas traditions, by the way.


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#40 Mommy to monkeys

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Posted 24 October 2017 - 02:02 PM

Perfect solution for everyone: Make a tradition of each December, the kids visit your mom for a day and she does the Martha Stewart cookies or crafts with them. Your kids get a tradition of doing holiday activities, your mom and your kids get a special time together, and you get a day of rest. :)  :hurray:

 

 

Unfortunately, I now live several states away from my mom. Otherwise, this would be perfect. :) 

 

 

The best thing I ever did for Christmas was buy a fake, pre-lit Christmas tree whose limbs are already attached.  There's like 3 things you have to do, and it's ready to go.  Saved me hours and hours of time.  I no longer dread putting up the tree.  I get it done in five minutes, and then put the tub of ornaments out for anyone to put on the tree as they wish.

 

((hugs))  It sounds like you already have some very nice Christmas traditions, by the way.

This is the only way I'd consider having a tree. And thank you, by the way. 

My very oldest child is a boy and he says he doesn't care at all about having a tree. BOTH of my girls are very excited about the prospect though.


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#41 Plum Crazy

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Posted 24 October 2017 - 02:28 PM

I just had my kids decorate the house for Halloween. I also let them decorate the Christmas tree.
I remember as a teen I was invited to a friends house to decorate their Christmas tree. That was fun. Maybe you could let your daughter invite some friends over and they could decorate the tree. You could buy some premade cookie dough and have them decorate.
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#42 Margaret in CO

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Posted 24 October 2017 - 09:06 PM

For many years, we went all out for Christmas. That's stopped. I used to make over 60 fruitcakes, along with 10 different kinds of candy and cookies and mail over 20 boxes. We no longer do. We still get the tree every year, but I don't go--it's the kids' thing, along with dh. There are too many of us now for even 2 trucks (counting the dogs). For several years, we had the tradition of breaking an axle, but fortunately, we seem to have stopped that tradition.  :lol: . Middle dd said the other day that she wants to do the outside lights--she likes decorating one of the tractors. Fine. Have at it. We used to do something Christmas-y every day, but once the kids got past the "read the Advent story" thing, we no longer do. We haven't lit the Advent wreath in years. I'll buy two sage wreaths from the high school swim team. Done. The two big things we still do are the Christmas village and music Christmas Eve at church. Neither sil will be here this year, so we'll be down to one piano/organ, one violin, and one cello. We're having our Christmas on the 22nd this year, due to Navy schedules again, so I'm not sure who will even be here! I think ds will head to TX with the girlfriend on the 23rd. And I think my oldest is headed to Colombia on the 24th. Middle dd will be plowing snow for the county, and dh will be driving bus. I was thinking I might suggest to the youngest that she might like to drive back to CA with Navy girl. They could hang out on the beach for the few days, unless youngest is being a lift op at the ski hill, which is quite likely. I quit writing the massive Christmas letter 9 years ago because I couldn't figure out how to write it without it being Ed's obituary. What would I write this year? Gee, dh is still alive. Not sure how long that will be. Hoping sil doesn't get blown up off the coast of North Korea? So I don't plan on writing one. 

 

Pick at FEW things you want to do, and then stop there. Don't want to put up lights? Go look at other people's. Don't want to decorate? Go downtown and look at store windows and smile because you don't have to drag out all that stuff and put it back. Don't want to bake? Go to the local coffee shop and indulge in a few cookies. And call it good. 

 

After dh was diagnosed with terminal cancer a month before Christmas last year, we figured out that we do what we want to do, and let the rest of it go. 

 

What did the Grinch say? "It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more."


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#43 Mommy to monkeys

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Posted 24 October 2017 - 09:30 PM

 

 

Pick at FEW things you want to do, and then stop there. Don't want to put up lights? Go look at other people's. Don't want to decorate? Go downtown and look at store windows and smile because you don't have to drag out all that stuff and put it back. Don't want to bake? Go to the local coffee shop and indulge in a few cookies. And call it good. 

 

After dh was diagnosed with terminal cancer a month before Christmas last year, we figured out that we do what we want to do, and let the rest of it go. 

 

What did the Grinch say? "It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more."

:grouphug: I'm so very sorry.  Your post definitely made me pause and put things in perspective.


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#44 onelittlemonkey

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Posted 24 October 2017 - 09:55 PM

Unfortunately, I now live several states away from my mom. Otherwise, this would be perfect. :)
This is the only way I'd consider having a tree. And thank you, by the way.
My very oldest child is a boy and he says he doesn't care at all about having a tree. BOTH of my girls are very excited about the prospect though.


We have a skinny, pre-Lit tree. It’s pretty and flocked. (And it was cheap, so even better, lol). Anyway, we keep it decorated in the closet and just slide it out in November, usually a couple weeks before thanksgiving, actually. :leaving: After Christmas, we slide it back in and close the door.
It’s totally stress free and looks great every year.
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#45 Margaret in CO

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Posted 25 October 2017 - 12:02 AM

:grouphug: I'm so very sorry.  Your post definitely made me pause and put things in perspective.

 

 

Yeah, it does make you concentrate on what's important. Navy girl just invited him out to CA for the helicopter ball--he's so excited! Her dh is deployed and she doesn't want to go by herself. And, as an O-3, she can get away with Dinner Dress Blue--her Blue Jacket uniform from the Academy no longer fits. He really should be in a tux, but is wearing his good black suit. Spending time is the big thing.