The holidays are a beautiful time of year. There are so many things announcing the holidays are here including the changing of seasons, the familiar tunes of Christmas music, the hustle and bustle of people searching for gifts for their loved ones, the warmth of hot cocoa, and the twinkling of colored lights trimming houses and buildings of all shapes and sizes, just to name a few.
As much as I love Christmas time, over the last decade or so I have witnessed an alarming trend of
and even injury over sale items
That is just not my ideal holiday season! So while others may frantically scurry about, I will be riding this year out in peace and you can too!
Here are some stress free ways to celebrate Christmas with your family…
- Take an evening to stroll down a street filled with Christmas lights! Then return home and sip on some hot cocoa while you and your husband share with your children that Jesus is the Light of the world.
- Take some time to pack a gift box for a needy child through Operation Christmas Child and teach your children the joy of generosity.
- Get a Christmas CD or use your ipod to play only a few seconds of a tune and have your family guess the title of the song! This one is really fun and gets everyone laughing!
- Instead of going to the mall or a department store to shop, intentionally go to find a family you can bless with money or a gift card. You can even offer to pray for the family you are blessing.
- Have a movie night marathon and watch classic Christmas movies and string popcorn with your kids.
- If you will be traveling during the holidays, make it fun by seeing who can find the most reindeer decorations, snowmen, or Nativity scenes and keep a tally, whoever gets the most is rewarded with a treat!
- Start a family tradition of picking names, where each person is responsible for giving one gift. This way no one expects a lot of gifts, and others don’t feel guilty when they can’t afford to get everything on their list.
- If you will be visiting lots of family but can’t afford to buy everyone a gift, consider hand making smaller gifts such as a memorable ornament, a variety cookie plate, or a photo on wood.
- Invite friends and family over for a gingerbread house competition. Ask each person to bring a different candy (don't forget the basics: graham cracker, frosting, licorice and gumdrops) and place them in bowls on a table. Set the timer and cheer each other on as candy flies and laughter swells! Winner can receive a chocolate santa or a gift card.
- Convince your family to host a gift exchange where everyone brings an unwanted item from their house. Draw numbers for order, one person at a time opens a gift and each gift can be stolen three times. Everyone gets the option to steal or open a new gift. This sparks curiosity, fun, and excitement while keeping Christmas on a budget!
I really hope you are encouraged by this list. Spending time with your family and loving them is the most valuable gift you can ever really give. Don't stress yourself out this year, ride it out in peace! Keep your focus on making memories with your husband and kids and you wont regret it.
If you have more stress free ways of celebrating Christmas please list them for all to see in the comments below. If you do any of these come back to tell us how they went over with your family!
- Jennifer Smith UnveiledWife.com