Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Christmas Doesn't Come From A Store

"It came without ribbons!  It came without tags!  It came without packages, boxes or bags!"... Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before!  "Maybe Christmas," he thought, "doesn't come from a store.  Maybe Christmas... perhaps... means a little bit more!"  ~Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!


As my children have gotten older, I've come to value this sentiment even more. When they were little, it was all about the presents, and finding the perfect present. That elusive item that was on every child's wish list. The item that had people lining up at o'dark thirty to buy. I have to admit, there were a couple Christmases that had me going to extraordinary lengths to find their gifts.

But then something happened. They grew up.

And now they don't really know what they want. Sure, there are a few things they can come up with for me to buy. But it's not like the old days, when they'd start making their list months ahead of time and it would keep getting longer and longer and more and more extravagant as time went on.

{Which reminds me of my niece E's list this year: a dolphin, seahorse, mini-dolphin, shark, or dirt bike. In that order. Good luck with that, Sissy.}

So what I've started to do is find activities for us to do together. That's what I want for Christmas. Time with my family. Time with my children. We're all so busy that we don't get enough time together. I place a high value on that time. 

It's a gift.

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Already, K and I, with Sissy and the girls, have made our annual gingerbread houses. That's one tradition that we all look forward to. A day spent laughing, and listening to Christmas carols, teasing each other, and eating candy. An all around fun day. 

Another activity this year is going to see "The Nutcracker" with K, Sissy, and the little girls. We'll have breakfast together and then drive into the big city for the show. Last year, K and I did this and we each bought a tiny ornament for our trees. A reminder of a fun day spent together.

We're also going to see "A Christmas Carol" - the Man, J, K, and I. I've heard good things about this show so I'm very excited to see it. We'll probably grab a bite to eat somewhere in the city beforehand so we'll make a night out of it. 

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I'm hoping all these things cement the idea that Christmas isn't about the presents, but about the time spent together.

I won't know until they have children of their own, but it's a start.

A small one, anyway.

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