by Liz | Life Snapshot
It’s been a whirlwind these past few weeks, chock full of family gatherings, last-minute shopping, teething babies, tantrums, get-togethers with friends that have been put off far too long and the list goes on. We’re exhausted!
While the interruptions to our routine have been fun, they’ve also added a whole new dynamic of behavior issues…especially with the 3-year-old. We’ve always been very flexible with our routine, but she needs a certain amount of down-time to stay on the straight and narrow. It will be a relief when things start to settle back to normal.
Despite all the angst, we look forward to this time of year for months! We love the anticipation and the joy of spending time with friends and relatives we don’t see very often. We remember fondly last years promises to see each other more often, yet life inevitably gets in the way. These moments are precious and we’d pay for them in sweat and tears a million times over. Not everyone is so fortunate and we know that we are blessed.
So from our sleep deprived and tumultuous household to yours, we wish you a blessed Christmas and hope the rosy glow continues long after the holidays have ended. Whether you have little ones or not, we hope a little Christmas magic finds its way into your heart.
by Liz | Health & Home, Life Snapshot
With the craze of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the deluge of Christmas decorations, advertisements and hype, it seems impossible to teach gratitude and show kids what the Season should really be all about. My goal this year is to turn the conversation around from “What do you want this Christmas?” to “How do you want to give back this Christmas?”.
We are extremely fortunate as a family. We have a house, loving family, food in our bellies and good jobs to help pay the bills. There are many things we would like to change for the better and we have to save our pennies for those future plans, but we have everything we need….and then some. Sure, we have to pick and choose where to spend this month but we are careful not to spend beyond our means. Not only because we don’t want to be in debt but more significantly, because we want to show our children that this season isn’t about satisfying material wants. More than anything, we want our kids to understand that we should appreciate each other, all that we have and help provide for someone less fortunate than ourselves.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the chaos of shopping and preparing for family and friends that we seem to run out of time and energy before we begin. But now, more than ever is when we want to think beyond our selves. I want our family to find joy in bringing smiles to other people’s faces, to spread happiness not as an obligation but because it teaches us something about humanity. The simple pleasure we find in giving and caring for others should fuel conversation and a willingness to keep giving back all year through
Here are some ways we plan to learn about gratitude this year:
1. Donate food and gently used clothing.
2. Pack up and donate gently used toys to a Toy Drive.
3. Participate in a “Giving Tree” from our local school.
4. Limit our Christmas list and ask for something that’s not for ourselves.
5. Have the kids participate in making gifts for family and friends.
Here are some ideas for older kids:
1. Donating your time at a Soup kitchen. Real people encourages real compassion.
2. Set a grocery budget (a less fortunate family might have) and have the kids shop for a meal. Make a list together beforehand and let them understand the compromises that will have to be made.
3. Help a local organization make Christmas baskets. Actively participate in giving back and show the spirit of giving.
What else would you add to our list?