Friday, December 5, 2014

Today's Christmas Tip

About a month ago, while I was reading my friend Lori's blog (not a we've met in real life friend, but an internet friend and a sister in Christ, and we would so be in person friends if we lived in the same area! friend) I saw the greatest idea that she had done. And I immediately did it for my family.

You can read the complete post here, and I highly recommend it.
Christmas is Coming: the Sane, Serene, and the Satisfying Holiday Plan.

Here is the nitty gritty though…….
All you have to do is ask each family member this question: What three things make the holiday happy for you?
So I cut red paper into squares and gave a piece to each child.  Then I taped a large piece of paper on our marker board where I had previously listed all of the normal Christmas activities that we did each year or most years.  Some of these things were non-negotiable (like buying and decorating a live Christmas tree), and others were traditions that we had started in years past which may or may not still be meaningful to everyone. I listed 18 holiday happenings.
Then I explained to the children that I wanted them to look over the list and write down their top 3, not to be skipped under any circumstances Christmas holidays activities.  At first they were so sad!  They asked me if we were really going to drop some of our beloved traditions?  I texted a photo of the list to Olivia and asked her to do the same.  She was a little shocked too!  Then Sam had a bright idea….."Let's each list three different things and then we can keep almost all of them!"  (What a smart idea!).  But I asked them to not discuss it with each other, but to please just list what they really wanted to do.  I assured them that we would continue to do all 18, if it was going to crush them to drop something, but let's just make our lists and see what happens.  
I was interested to see what was important to them.  I wanted to see if anything that I spent a great deal of time and effort on meant nothing to them, or if there was an activity or event that didn't require that much of me, but they LOVED it.  
In the end, almost every single activity was listed by at least one person, and many things were listed by two or more children.  Leah could not limit herself to just 3 (she listed 5), and Sam had an even harder time---he listed 8 things!
In all, this was an eye-opening experience.  I loved seeing what each child listed.  We did drop a few activities, and I am making sure that what they listed will be done with great fun and fanfare. 
So, we bought and decorated a live tree.  We are exchanging gifts. We are making goodies to share with friends and family.  And we are doing a whole lot of other things too. 

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