At Christmas, people start to think of all the to-do lists that are important like presents, meal planning and arranging the relatives’ visits. Sadly, this year we can’t arrange the visits but we can still do the meal planning and also buy lots of presents. If you are like me you have to ask yourself- do we need all those presents? Online shopping places like Amazon make it all too easy to buy way too much.
I am a planner and I like to be organized plus I love Christmas and everything about it - here is a run down of how I get ready for Christmas so that I can enjoy it to the fullest.
Get Christmas cards printed and stamped by Thanksgiving. I love Christmas cards, sending them out, getting them in the mail; they are just such an amazing symbol of joy and family. I also try to get most presents purchased by Thanksgiving as well our family exchange lists by Halloween which makes it easier. Usually shopping ahead can also save you money and anxiety. For me getting the presents out of the way which are not my favorite part means I can spend more of December just enjoying the season. But I do love wrapping presents, I like to put a Christmas movie on and wrap presents (I recommend using ribbons over bows- it makes the present look more old fashioned)
I don’t decorate or start doing Christmas things till after Thanksgiving because I want Thanksgiving to be special and Christmas too. We usually get a Christmas tree the weekend after Thanksgiving, that way we have more time to enjoy it. The tree looks so homey and wonderful, I love having it in our house with the beautiful twinkling lights. We watch movies of course and our kid favorites are the following:
1966 Grinch Cartoon
White Christmas – songs mostly
We usually do a gingerbread house with the kids and keep it up all month. We sing a lot of songs. My favorite carol is “God, Rest Ye Merry Gentle Men!” We bake cookies and we usually do sugar cookies and gingerbread since the kids can decorate each of those varieties. I like this website for the classic recipe: https://sugarspunrun.com/easy-sugar-cookie-recipe/ and https://sugarspunrun.com/gingerbread-men/.
We make all these cookies to give to friends, neighbors and family. I have found this is a good way to start kids on the joy of giving. We also had our girls buy each other a present this year since they have started earning money now. Zara bought Gigi an explorer kit and Gigi bought Zara a water bottle for her new bike. I also get them involved in the wrapping process.
My favorite tradition of all though is the stocking gifts we do which are usually something sweet, something little and some sort of fruit. This is a tradition from my German grandma that still is dear to my heart. She used to give me an orange, but I started saying to her when I was young that I would like a cucumber and to this day I still get a cucumber in my stocking and it is my favorite thing. It reminds me of her and all the joy Christmas is with Love, Celebration of Jesus’ birth and Family whether together or far away.
Merry Christmas to all of you,
The Farmgirl and Chiro-Doctor.