Let’s continue to Change up the Holidays.
I am very happy to share Shortsweetmom’s second guest post. This post was written by Courtney Coder Dixon. Courtney is constantly challenging me to be a better mom. She is a home schooling mama of three and is always an encouragement to those around her.
If you would like to read more from Courtney be sure to visit her blog Musings of an Educated Housewife.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links which means if you buy something through my link, I may get a small share of the sale. I appreciate it!
Christmas clutter and how to fight it.
There’s nothing like the joy of a child at Christmas time. Everything is exciting and life is full of anticipation as December 25th draws near. Some of us come upon this awkward gap between childhood and becoming parents. That gap is filled with lazy Christmas mornings, and feeling like Christmas is more of a “day off” than a true reason to celebrate.
Then, as some of us become parents, the holiday becomes new again.
It’s filled with dual emotional connections. Connections of nostalgia and connections of creating new memories with our own families.
I grew up with Christmas time being filled with activities at home, around our city and sometimes even different countries. My three sisters and I experienced Christmas morning with stockings full to the point of overflowing and presents so plentiful that you couldn’t see the bottom of the tree.
My husband grew up with much less, and a completely different experience.
The first couple years we celebrated parenthood and the new “joy” of Christmas, it was an exciting experience, but one that I found lacked something.
There was no absence of toys, gifts, wrapping paper and full stockings. However, I found my perspective on what I wanted celebrations to look like, changing.
The pending birth of our third child created a major shift in my thinking and jump-started the idea of having less, so we could experience more.
I quickly realized through simple math, that if items kept coming into our home at the rate they were, and nothing but broken items were the only ones going out, we would be consumed and overrun by “stuff” very, very quickly.
I read Marie Kondo’s book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up”. While I personally had a difficult time relating to her as an author, the ideas she has about letting go of items that don’t bring you joy, struck home.
A year later I read another book “Unstuffed: Decluttering Your Home, Mind and Soul” by Ruth Soukup. This book was much easier to relate to and I found it refreshing to keep my momentum up in the decluttering process.
I suddenly looked forward to Christmas because of it’s simplicity, not because we were going to focus on “stuff”.
We decided to invest our time and money into experiences with our children. The hope is that these experiences will be cherished for a lifetime.
Our desire is to spend time with our children, not allow them to focus on celebrations as a time where they get a bunch of “stuff”.
Last year we took them to “The Polar Express” experience in Hood River, OR. My husband and I saved up and purchased the premium seats where each child spends a few moments with “Santa”. Santa signs their Polar Express book, they also receive a mug of hot chocolate that they get to keep as a souvenir. Their book is then read to them by one of Santa’s “helpers”.
Two years ago we delved into a priceless experience called “Follow the Star” where actors take you on the journey of experiencing the birth of Jesus, and how he came to save the world. Complete with live animals and a real manger. Since we are born again Christians, we feel this experience was invaluable for our family.
As a result of these changes we enjoy talking about our outings as a family, even years later. We talk about the meaning Christmas has for us. There is no longer a need to give into that giant bulk purchase of toys from Costco, or ordering twenty-three items off Amazon to make our holiday feel “full”.
We have learned to be content with less. Because we live in America, we have to exercise that contentment for ourselves. For our family it has been an exercise of self-control we’ve truly enjoyed.
What are some of the ways you can declutter your holidays?
This is the part of the Changing up the Holidays series. You may also enjoy: