When we are in the Christmas season, we enjoy telling stories and sharing memories about Christmases in the past. We remember the excitement we had as children. And, the excitement of when our children began to experience the wonder of Christmas.
Our family lived fairly simply because we chose to live on one income and to homeschool. So each December we did two weeks of what we called “Christmas School”. We loved it. We made baskets for family and friends with pumpkin bread, brownies, and a variety of cookies. We enjoyed putting it together. My girls had special recipes like Tea Cookies and No Bake Cookies and Rice Crispy treats they loved making over and over.
I remember making fruit cake cookies with my Grandma. I liked getting to eat pecans that I didn’t have to shell. I remember how wonderful it smelled in our house.
Over the years, and with my mom’s never-ending zeal to learn new recipes, I learned how to make our own eggnog and many holiday items that have become my now “grown-up” traditions.
Totally different from my childhood tradition, every New Year’s Eve, I make cabbage rolls and au gratin potatoes for New Year’s Day. It has become such fun. We invite folks over who bring appetizers or something light and we enjoy. Jeff looks forward to this day as much as Christmas!
So, to share a little about past Christmases, I’ve included a few ideas that might help you have a touch more simplicity and a little bridge to what past Christmases may have been like. Enjoy!
- Making gifts together is a wonderful way for family and friend bonding!
- Baking gifts are a fun activity to do together. We can give cookies, cupcakes, brownies as gifts to family, it may make them fatter, but not clutter their homes with needless possessions.
- Volunteering is a neat thing to do as a family or a group of friends. It may be to serve at a shelter or at your church helping out with the nursery for the many happenings that are going on and to help the many new folks who visit during the Christmas season.
- Christmas songs. My girls and I have always had fun singing Christmas songs while in the car. If you are really into this, many assisted living and nursing homes could benefit from your group showing up to shed some holiday cheer.
- Playing games. We love, love, love board games and other such games. We find that we can really connect when bringing out the games. Sometimes the competition can get a little intense though!
- Make ornaments or decorations. Another fun thing to to shop thrift stores. You can find some very inexpensive little treasures for decoration.
Sure, buying gifts is a holiday tradition, but we can change up our traditions to align with the age and stage of life we are in now. Creating a new tradition or enhancing an old one is just another way of bridging the present to the past and making another warm and cozy memory to think back on in the future.
Whatever your tradition, allow the holidays to renew and refresh you. And get ready for an awesome new year!
Sheri Geyer is a Life Management Coach, Mentor, Writer, Wife & Mom