Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Holiday Month - Christmas Day
Next year I want to do Christmas differently. While the commercialism associated with the spiritual celebration has always bothered me a bit, it is indeed very easy to get caught up in the over-the-top decorations, the store sales, the TV shows and ads, and the overall hype of the holiday season. I have tried to shift my family’s focus to the spiritual celebrations, but I have usually been unsuccessful. But now that my children are all old enough to have set their Santa beliefs aside, I think the time might be right for a change.
Next year we will be celebrating Holiday Month for the entire month of December. On December 25th we will celebrate Christmas Day, a day for our spiritual celebrations. We will shift our gift giving away from that day, and we will open up Holiday Month for gifts. The rules are simple. Each family member can present a gift to another family member anytime they choose during the month, with the exception of Christmas Day. They will still be encouraged to make the gift giving a surprise, something to be anticipated and awaited. When someone is ready to present a gift, we will all sit together so we can oooh and aaah over it, and the receiver doesn’t have to wait until Christmas Day to play with/wear/enjoy their gift.
We always put our Christmas decorations up Thanksgiving Weekend, so those will be at the ready for Holiday Month. We can still enjoy traveling around town to see the tacky lights, watching special movies and tv shows, getting caught up in the shopping crowds if someone wants to do that, and we will make our holiday cookies and snacks early so they are available all month. But when Christmas Day arrives, our eyes and hearts will lift to the spiritual. We will continue the tradition I started when my oldest child was born of having a birthday cake for Jesus. We will visit church and sing our thanks for both the Holiday Month and for Christmas Day. Our Christmas Day will be joyous but with a joyousness that doesn’t reflect the more commercial aspects of the holiday.
I have discussed this new plan with my children, and while I believe the thought of receiving gifts all month was the main selling point, they all agree we should try it. So, check back with me in a year, and I will give you an update. In the meantime, if anyone has other ideas to separate the commercial and the spiritual aspects of Christmas, I would love to hear about them.