Sunday, December 02, 2012

A Plain and Simple Christmas Season

I can across an article about Amish Christmas , and realized that we tend toward this simple stripped down version of Christmas as well. We normally keep it low key, but this year is really low key. And everyone seems okay with it. I know I feel much more relaxed. As homeschoolers we can avoid all the outside Christmas activities, if we choose.

My husband and I normally don't exchange gifts and both children are happy to receive just a few favorites. My teenage son wants two book series and my daughter just likes the  process of opening presents - she likes pretty boxes and wrappings. Every year we end up wrapping her existing toys, at her initiation, to give to her stuffed animals, the cat, or family. This involves a fun trip to the dollar store for wrappings, ribbons, and bows. I just follow her lead.

It's a special time for giving, so it's also a time of year that we gift those in need. We have our special charities that we help out. I know it's trite, but it really is better to give than receive. And the gift of love is more valuable than any "thing". How many of us have too much stuff(relative to the rest of the world)  - too many. It's a good time to clean out and declutter, and donate to a local charity. If time is all you have donate that.

Donate to your favorite charity in someone else's name. Many charities will mail a card out to the honoree,and it can be done online in a matter of minutes. My father gets a donation in his name to Saint Jude's Children'sHospital every year, and my mother to the ASPCA, her favorite charity. Some of the animal charities have an adopt-an-animal donation option, and they send some really cute stuffed animals, and an adoption certificate to the honoree. We have done this one, and for $25.00 received the cutest plush penguin and adoption certificate. My son is adopting a snow leopard in his sister's name this year. One year we made an adoption in the name of Saint Francis, and we have this framed.

My daughter likes music, so YouTube provides great children's Christmas music videos. She plays these every day. We are listening to it right now.

We didn't put up a tree this year because my daughter wanted to make a tree. So we have branches from the garden in a bucket, decorated with her crafted ornaments and dollar store lights.

Here's to a relaxed, peaceful, and spiritual Christmas season! May you all find the peace of the Lord, regardless of you religion. His peace is a gift to all. Take this instead of commercialism and consumerism. Relax and enjoy each other.

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