Monday, December 11, 2006

Making a Memorable Christmas

I've been thinking a lot about how to make Christmas memorable for my kids. When I look back, there are a few Christmases that stand out: there was the Christmas after I turned 8, which in my family gets special attention as a sort of right-of-passage. That year, I wanted Samantha. The American Girl Dolls had just come out and I would look at those catalogs for hours on end. When I went into the family room that morning, Samantha was on top of our floral yellowish velvet couch along with her bed , various accessories and clothes (with matching ones for me) . I remember that Christmas so well--I remember how Samantha's hair was tied in her maroon box, I remember the presentation of the doll and clothes, I even remember what my brother got for Christmas that year. So why do I remember that Christmas so well when others have faded so much in my mind? I don't think it was the present that made me remember, I chalk it up to the fact that it was the Christmas of the year I turned eight and in my family, that was huge!

How to Make Christmas Memorable:

Idea #1: Have a few Special Christmases, such as a right-of-passage


Other Christmases that stand out in my mind are ones that involve a special place, such as the one we had in Hawaii (the year I got another American Girl doll, this time Addy), or the one we celebrated in London (we weren't actually there for Christmas day, so we celebrated it a little early).

How to Make Christmas Memorable:

Idea #2: Go somewhere special, not all Christmases have to be at home.

Kako has the best idea for creating a memorable Christmas--she has concluded that her kids have too much stuff (as do mine), so on Christmas, Santa brings them a few gifts, but the main present her kids get is an experience. This year, Noah and I are doing this (if our house sells). In February, we're going to take our kids to Orlando, Florida for one week and go to Disney World for one day, and the beach for 5. Our kids will still each get a gift from Santa (Gabby wants a scooter and Alex wants a Skateboard) and they'll of course get spoiled by their grandparents, so there's no need for us to go all out, plus I don't want my kids to be materialistic. One of the best things my parents gave me was the gift of travel--they somehow managed to haul 5 kids (the youngest one being 4) around Europe for one month, we lived in Hawaii for one year, London for 6 months, Boston for a summer . . . most recently, my mom took my two youngest siblings to Guatemala for the summer and prior to that, they went to Beijing, China. I hope to give the same thing to my kids (and I know Noah's all for it). Maybe next year we'll give the kids the experience of living with their grandparents for a week while Noah and I go see Germany!

How to Make Christmas Memorable:

Idea #3: Give experiences insead of material gifts

So what other ideas do you have to make Christmas memorable and what were your most memorable Christmases?

4 comments:

older singer said...

When my family lived in Chicago, it was too difficult to get out to buy a Christmas tree, so Mom and Dad decided we didn't need one. I was devastated and insisted that we HAD to have a Christmas tree. So my dad finally went to a little drug store and bought a 2', silver tree. I don't remember if we put ornaments on it or not, but it was a tree.
The other one I remember was during my first marriage. My husband didn't want to spend money on a tree because we had so little money, so I bought a tiny tree--even smaller than the 2' one--and made ornaments by crushing aluminum foil into a bunch of balls and squeezing a mix of glue and flour around each ball, then painting little somethings on my new ornaments.

Factotum said...

What wonderful(?) memories! So is the moral here that the crappier your tree is, the more memorable your Christmas is?

older singer said...

I just had an idea for Christmas Eve. I think I'll make little stars out of thick paper and have everyone write the scripture which was most meaningful to them during the year--or one which sums up the year. We will then use them as ornaments.
My scripture: "I can do all things through Christ, who strengtheneth me."

Factotum said...

That's a great idea!