Small Town Simple

The Simplicity Adventures of a Mother and Daughter

No Gifts?

“…and it was always said of him that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge.  May that be truly said of us, and all of us!  And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God bless Us, Every One!”  from a Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens 

“What if we don’t exchange gifts next year?”  That was a question Lauren put to me the other night and I honestly wasn’t sure how I felt about it.  So I didn’t give her a straight answer.  I’m still thinking.

Both Lauren and I have worked hard to simplify our holiday routines and expectations.  What was once a profusion of gifts, wrapping and excess has morphed into an enjoyable day with some gift exchange but not anywhere close to what it used to be.

But Lauren’s question prompted me to ponder – if no gifts (except for the kids)  – how will we highlight the day?  What traditions can we create that will help define all of us as family and we look forward to these moments each year?

So I’ve started a list that I’m going to share with Lauren:

  • determine some recipes that we enjoy that are simple to prepare and but make the day special
  • find an interesting place each year for a walk
  • play a board game , card game or work on a puzzle
  • attend a religious service
  • read out loud a fun Christmas story or poem
  • make a gingerbread house from graham crackers – one for a little boy!

And I’m open to more ideas.  Seriously,  I would love to hear your suggestions on how you & your family create a beautiful holiday and it does not completely revolve around gifts.  Neither Lauren nor I are trying to be a Scrooge (before his transformation!).  But we are looking for new traditions, new ways to express the holiday, a way to keep Christmas well in our homes.  So I hope you will take a moment and share with us your favorite part of your holiday that doesn’t always include a store-bought gift.  And recipes are welcome!! And then I will give Lauren my answer.

Thank you and Happy Holidays!  Carolyn  

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