How to Have a Merry Christmas – Keep it Simple!!!

 

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Its been weeks since I have written!   Not because I haven’t wanted to write, I have just had a lot on my plate.  Our lives have been rather hectic and chaotic over the last few weeks, actually the last couple of months,  I literally haven’t had a chance to write – although I must say that I have been giving ‘the next blog post’ some thought.   The next blog post is always on my mind!  🙂

The school year literally screeched to a halt on the 5th December, and I must admit that I had been feeling as though we were on an emotional roller coaster right up until the fifth.   I feel as though so much has happened, and it has in a way, but only within the walls of our family.   To everyone else, the normal school year ended and the holidays began, and while I celebrate the end of the school year along with my fellow mummy friends, I must say that I finished the year feeling happy, but also quite tired and very much in need of a break – and a new medication for my thyroid issues (I’ll tell you more about that at another time).

So here we are a few days away from Christmas 2013, and I must say that I am quite proud of myself.   While I haven’t yet attempted any Christmas baking (yet – but I will be today) – presents are bought and wrapped, and for that reason alone, I must say that I am quite proud of myself!  Due to a Christmas past experience with little children in the house – I have learned my lesson well.  It seems that it is not a good idea to leave wrapped presents under the tree and expect them to be untouched. For awhile we used the playpen to protect the Christmas tree – but this year we no longer need the playpen for security. While the girls can now be trusted to keep there hands off wrapped presents – Jaden is an entirely different story.   Lets just say that he hasn’t coped well with the little wrapped present decorations from the tree – he has been most upset and disappointed with the styrofoam filling!

I had a lot of trouble this year trying to find the perfect gift for each child, as we feel that the kids do not need for much.    Christmas is a fun time of year, but it’s also a very expensive time of year, and as I looked at many catalogues, and stores, one word kept coming to mind –  ’Simple’.  I am a firm believer in listening to those inner ‘words of wisdom’, and so I set myself  a challenge – ‘The 2013 Keep Christmas Simple Challenge’.

I broached the subject with the kids, and explained to them that I really felt that we should focus on the idea of keeping Christmas simple this year.    I felt that we really needed to get back to the basics of what Christmas really meant.  I had also told them a story about a family I know, who buy their child all the gadgets and gizmos, but they rarely discipline or seem to set rules for this child.   The meaning of Christmas to me is about the birth of Jesus, but it is also about family, friendship and togetherness, and while it is a lovely bonus of Christmas to receive a wrapped gift from your loved ones, the idea of Christmas had turned out to be more of a expensive gift buying adventure rather than spending time with family and friends and really celebrating the idea of togetherness with your loved ones. Obviously we could theoretically go stark raving mad and buy everything the kids circled in the catalogues,  however, we decided that they could write down three things on a piece of paper and give it to us, and we would do our best to fulfil their desires.

I told the kids the plan.  ‘Christmas this year was going to be simple – after all, we don’t need for much, and I feel that since it has been such a massive year – we need to get back to basics, and Christmas is about family time, friendship, and celebrating relationships.

I see Christmas as a time to really celebrate family time, and its a great time to create some family traditions….

1.  Christmas movies are a must
2.  Christmas tree must go up on the 1st December
3.  Christmas baking
4.  The Santa Train in Brisbane.
5.  The Maroochy Baptist Church Christmas spectacular

We love Christmas movies in our household, and we have adopted ‘Pearl and Ted’s’ Happy Hour ritual – but only from the time that Dion is officially on holidays till Christmas day.   It involves a Christmas treat and some type of drink from 4.30 to about 5.30pm.

Family Favourite Christmas Treats –

Christmas treats
* Gluten Free Rum Balls (Lones’ recipe)
* White Christmas without the cherries
* Hedgehog slice
* Santa hat brownies
* Tiny Teddy sleighs or Tiny Teddy Cars

Mischievious Mum’s Favourite Christmas Movies:

christmas

* While you were sleeping
* National Lampoons Christmas vacation
*  Miracle on 34th Street
*  The Holiday
*  Love Actually
*  Its a Wonderful Life
* White Christmas
* Bridget Jones

 Family Friendly Favourite Movies:

* The Santa Clause (trilogy)
* Christmas with the Kranks
* Home Alone
* Shrek
* A very Brady Christmas
* Elf
* I’ll be Home for Christmas
* Little Women
* Fred Clause
* Christmas with Holly
* Santa Clause: The Movie

So here are a few ways our family celebrate the days leading up to Christmas day.   I’d love to hear some of your family rituals?We would love to wish all our readers a wonderful and happy Christmas.   We wish you much love, joy and peace in your lives, and we pray that 2014 is a brilliant year for you all.