I LOVE the holidays and always have. But last year, Christmas was 100 times more magical, and I wanted to share what contributed to our Christmas magic.
Last year I decided to do Christmas a little bit different. I really wanted to get my children excited about giving rather than receiving. I also wanted to limit the things that they received.
In years past I found myself feeling a little bit of regret at my children opened one-too-many presents and our home filled with more and more things. Something felt off. Something had to change.
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Last year, I bought some kindness elves and told my kids how excited I was to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas with them that year. We outlined several ways to have a Christ-centered Christmas in fun and meaningful ways and we started making plans. Some of our plans included finding families to feed, sending a package of cheer to a mom going through divorce, and doing secret Santa for a family in our neighborhood.
I was surprise how much my 5-year old lit up through these experiences.
One day she asked me if she could do some “pay jobs.” Thinking there was a toy she was wanting to purchase, I asked “What do you need a pay job for?”
She replied, “I want to earn money so I can help buy food for kids that don't have food to eat.”
I still get teary-eyed thinking about this and other experiences we had with her last year, because she really got excited about the things we were doing. My girls helped me shop for the families we were helping, and we used this Christ-centered advent calendar to guide us with coming up with new ideas each day.
Christmas truly was magical all month-long. It was CHRISTMAS MAGIC at its' finest.
I also pulled both of my girls aside and asked them if they wanted to do a sibling gift. I gave them opportunities to do some pay jobs, and then asked them to be observant and sneaky about coming up with an idea that would make the other sister smile. They both ended up giving each other a toy, and it was extra meaningful to them when they opened it, because they worked so hard to give it.
Although I did much better than year's past, I'm stepping things up a notch this year. My kids will get one main thing that they would be excited about, and if any other gifts are given, it will be something they can experience.
Last year taught me that you can celebrate the true meaning of Christmas and STILL embrace the magic. Santa doesn't need to be fired. But one thing we have done this year (yes, already) is to gear our children's focus on being grateful for what Santa brought last year. Instead of writing a letter asking for all the things they want, I had them write a letter about who they are: their interests, their favorite color, what they are grateful for, etc. I explained that Santa doesn't need us to tell him everything we want, he can tell what would be best for us just by knowing a little bit more of who we are. See my free Letter From Santa template for more info.
I explained that some years we might just get one gift, because Santa knows how blessed we are and wants to give gifts to the kids that have nothing. I tell them stories of children that have much greater needs than toys and gadgets. Above all, I try to instill in my children a desire to love.
Because love is what Christmas magic is all about.
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