The Christmas countdown has begun and maybe you’re thinking that it’s already too late to slow down during this holiday season…you’ll simplify next year…
I know from experience that it can be hard to get off the activity/obligation treadmill once you are on it, especially during the holidays. But it’s also never too late to listen to that inner parenting voice telling you to slow down and not get caught up in the all-the-kids-are-getting-(you name the latest trend) shopping pressure.
No matter how intentional you are in finding age-appropriate and creative gifts, there’s often a good chance that your child will be bestowed with gifts from well-intentioned family/friends that don’t jibe with your family values. In my family, after being overwhelmed with gifts a few too many times, we actually put forward an “Official Gift Policy“ a few years back. I’m proud to say that we’ve managed to implement the policy and have only had one misunderstanding (when Hubby tried to extend it to another family member via email…this type of policy definitely needs a personal conversation to convey).
And yet even though we’ve set fairly firm limits, I don’t think I’ve gone through a Christmas yet without wondering if Santa will disappoint. I don’t want to feel ungenerous. I fear facing a sulking child. I fret that since we buy gifts only for the holidays/birthdays that I may not find the “perfect” gift. Thankfully, these fears have never materialized. This year my Pre-K Girly was honestly wishing that Santa would visit each family member before giving any real thought to her short wish list. Our Big Guy now believes that this is annual shot at getting Legos from Santa, and made sure to pick out sets that cost less than $50 without me even suggesting it.
Again, Simplicity Parenting is all about finding the right balance for your family, but when it comes to the holidays, I suggest this simple values test:
- How much will X gift add to our household clutter? Is it containable? Does your daughter already have six baby dolls?
- What holiday traditions are you creating? What does your family look forward to each year with joy and anticipation…minus stress and obligation?
- Are you spending more time shopping than creating/playing with your kids? Does schedule have you racing to get places? Do you have time for year-end reflection?
There are no “right” answers to this test, except once you feel more at ease during a season where we rightfully ought to pause to savor moments of peace and togetherness.
How does your family truly celebrate the countdown?
Darcy Cronin is a mother of three, blogger, and small business adventurer. Darcy became certified as a Simplicity Parenting Coach to help families create paths toward meaningful values and more sustainable lifestyles. Follow her blog and sign up for workshops at Darcy’s Utopia.