I was going to focus on lessons learned this week but I have to step back and talk about Christmas. I hope that you all enjoyed family and friends over the holiday.
Before this year, a Christmas morning at our house meant abundance. An abundance of excitement, an abundance of food and mostly, an abundance of gifts. Both of my kids could count on at least 25 gifts under the tree, and often many more. This stemmed from my memories of Christmas as a child. My parents had to work hard to provide for us, yet Christmas always meant lots and lots of gifts. My mom continued the tradition when the grandchildren came along. Lots and lots and lots of gifts.Things we wanted? Sure! Things we needed? Sometimes. Things just to fill in? Too many.
My buying restrictions only applied to clothes, shoes and accessories, but I decided to make a CHOICE to really scale back on gifts this year. Easy in November. Easy in early December. Harder as the big day approached. Excruciating as I wrapped the few gifts. Devastating as I placed them under the tree. I had never before seen the tree skirt under the gifts. Ever. Each kid had 6 gifts and our grandson had 2 large toys and a few books. I almost cried looking at the paltry selection. I could not sleep imagining the disappointment my kids would try to hide as they slowly opened the few items.
Like a predictable movie, my kids were not (or did not act) disappointed. They were appreciative and happy. There were a few surprises along with the couple things requested. Better yet, my daughter is now continuing some of our traditions with her family. She bought Christmas pajamas, and even included a pair for her brother (since I couldn't buy them.) She made us some gifts. And she even spotted a bracelet I had pinned on my Pinterest wall and spent weeks tracking it down. My husband and son chipped in and bought me this:
Of course I will wait until January 1 to wear it but it was just so thoughtful.
We made less food on Christmas day, too. Some things were the same. We stayed in pajamas all day. We watched movies. We played with toys.
By the time we went to bed Christmas night, I was deliriously happy. I am so appreciative of my wonderful husband. So proud of both my kids. So in love with my grandson.
I made it through a practically no-buy Christmas. If my kids were disappointed, I didn't feel it. I'm still sad about it but I think in a few Christmases, I'll get used to it like I have with all my new habits. I have to say, I am a lucky, lucky woman.