I just finished reading my bloggie friend Staci's post on traditions. I love traditions. I passed on my love of traditions to my daughter, Ashley. She is an absolute demon regarding KEEPING traditions.
Our Christmas traditions are usually pretty standard...Christmas Eve with Tim's parents, and the Christmas Eve service at church. Christmas Day is chaos...open gifts from the immediate family, pack up and rush to Phoenix where we hit three other family homes (usually quick visits with Tim's aunt and uncle - quick visit with my mom - dinner at my dad's.) Then home to fall into sleep. It is chaotic and not restfull. During the month of December we participate in various Christmas parties and dinners. We also spend time shopping for Christmas Angels. (That is my favorite part!) Due to the age of my kiddos, and my lack of wanting to run all over the state of Arizona, I'm enacting my parental rights...I'm not leaving my house on Christmas morning. My family (and friends) are invited to spend the day with us...in our loud, chaotic, crazy, box filled house. My new tradition is to slow down. Stay home, and let the kids play with their toys vs. sitting in a car for 5 or 6 hours watching videos and the traffic speed by. We've also adopted a family instead of just a bunch of Christmas Angels. Traditions...it's time to start some new ones. Hold on, Ashley. I promise the change will be a fun ride.
So, Staci is starting a new tradition this year as well. The Gift of 4... or something to that. She gives her kids 4 gifts...something they need, something they want, something to read, and something to wear. Ironically, I struggled this year with what to give my kids. They have too much. I decided at the begining of the holiday season that they wouldn't get much. I wanted to focus on the Reason of the Season, not the getting of the season. We've adopted a needy family, filled shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Box, read books about the true meaning of Christmas, we attend church and talk about Advent, and yes, we went shopping. During our shopping trips we discuss who we are purchasing items for. I emphasize that it isn't about us. What I like most about Staci's Gift of 4 is the simplicity. We have a celebration because it is symbolic of Jesus' birth and celebration day...it shouldn't be about us. I have adopted Staci's Gift of 4 as my new tradition. Thank you Staci.