- What one thing you would eliminate from your holiday schedule if you could?
- What tradition or event would you add if you could?
If I had to pick a new thing to change, it would probably be less gift giving to adults. Doing less of that would allow me the money to give gifts to more of the children in my extended family. Overall, we give less gifts than we used to. We set up a budget and try to stick to it. We only give our kids a few presents, plus a few hand-made presents. They don't care. They seem satisfied. It will be interesting to see if that changes when they go to school and find out what other kids get.
If I was to add another tradition, it would be to get a bunch of fun, cool fam/friends to hang out and bake or package previously baked cookies and take them to the nursing home I work at to pass out together, maybe host a game (like bingo, or a wii bowling contest) for the residents with awesome prizes. The home I work at is an inner city home with a large number of young (20-60 yrs old) patients, many with mental illness or severe addictions that have brought on catastrophic medical situations. Many have limited access to family. They could use some fun and homemade goodies. I adopt a resident and give them presents from Santa each year. Some family members have chipped in during the past few years, which has allowed me to adopt extra residents and give better gifts. That has been a highlight for me personally, as I see them enjoy some of the gifts all year, like one lady that would sit out in the sunshine listening to the transistor radio she got. Or the man that wears size5XL and loved getting a warm jacket he could actually zip up and a purple (his fave color) shirt to wear to the facility church service on Sunday, so he feels good about himself.
I love all the traditions we have, and all the new traditions that are evolving as people are starting new careers, families, etc... This year my brother is hosting Christmas Eve for my family get-together. It will be exciting to celebrate in his new place. My husband's side will celebrate faux-Christmas, meaning it will occur a few days after Christmas when everyone can be in town together, which will make it even more relaxed and fun. This will be my first Christmas without my Grandmother, which is hard because we were very close (even lived together), but her cookie tradition will continue as I bake her favorite recipes. I will shed a tear as I sing along with Star Wars' Christmas in the Stars, remembering my Dad doing so when I was young.
Although I had answers for the 2 questions posed, I am quite content with the way things are. It was interesting taking a look at what we do as a family. I am glad we keep it to a minimum and don't get stressed out over the holidays. But what I am truly thankful for is that my huge family is so loving and welcoming to all the amazing new additions to our family. I love that my family, my husband's family, my sisters' fiancees families, my brothers' sweetie's families all can get together, anytime of the year, without drama or ill-will, but with acceptance and friendship. What a great gift that is to me!
So, do you have any answers to the 2 questions?