Christmas is one of my favorite times of year, I love the smells and the sights and the feelings that go along with it. I love thinking about our Savior Jesus Christ. I love thinking about believing. I love thinking about my children. I love thinking about other people. I love baking. I love decorating.
However, I am running into a problem this Christmas. We are on a budget and sometimes budgets are so hard to stay on. This month I have to stay within budget. Brian asked me how much I needed for the kids Christmas gifts this year. (We decided our van was our gift to each other this year) I told him the amount and he wasn't happy. I tried to explain the reasoning behind everything on my list. "They would live everything, this is from Santa, she has more than him..." He didn't care for my excuses and went on to point out what I was making Christmas about. Commercial things. I didn't think I was as I was still putting aside money for doing service and charity. I was still remembering my savior.
So I stayed up that night band cut my list basically in half. I cut out things that would have been so loved and cherished. I cut out exciting things from Santa and extra things from us. This was extremely hard for me to do because I am a "no sayer" the rest of the year and tell them to ask for it for Christmas. Now I have to take it all away.
I grew up in a home where Christmas was huge. There were tons if gifts and Santa was very very good to us. We had massive piles of toys an goodies. I always remember getting everything I wanted and much more. I am not sure if I am complaining or not... But it has made me believe that this is the expectation for Christmas. Why am I so sad to cut fun things out for my kids? I feel selfish and sad at the same time. I know it is good and I am giving them things that so many children won't get at all. We are blessed in so many ways. I have do much to give and I have such wonderful children. I just want to make their Christmas magic. I want them to be overjoyed that they got everything they wanted because they deserve it. But I can't.
So what I have decides to do is show them love and Teach them love. We had a lesson on service last night and we all talked about why we give service and what we will do. We already have several things in the list of service opportunities for our family and this is the tunes that I will make count. We will craft together(like my snowflake decor below, since I can't buy anything new) we will bake, and read Christmas books, we will sing and we will talk about why Christmas is so special, and why our savior is so special.
So here I start... I will get over it and I will enjoy every second if what we have and I know that one day my kids will thank me for giving then underwear and socks instead of a movie they wanted or a flying helicopter. They will thank me for teaching them about Jesus and why he is such a huge part of our lives. They will thank me for their service memories and our time we spent together.
One of my favorite Christmas memories I have is from the Christmas 9 years ago. Hold on, back up... 10 years ago Christmas after all the gifts and frills my dad sat us down and asked us all to save all our money we would have spent on Christmas and give someone else a Christmas. We had all year I prepare and then the following Christmas, we would share our experience as our gift exchange. I was jangle still and this was an exciting thing for me I be able to give so much. I prepared some special things and made blankets and a huge basket of goodies. I then went out and delivered it ding ding ditch style, to 2 families that I knew who needed it.
We were able to come together and hate these wonderful stories and cherish our time together that year. There were no wrapped gifts under the tree but it was by far the best Christmas I have ever had. (It also helped that I was 1. Leaving on a mission in 2 weeks and 2. had met Brian 3 days prior to christmas And was all fluttery about him) it was a fantastic Christ centers Christmas and I will always remember it.