|Photo from Real Moms Guide|
Well this year is almost over and we are all worn out,
mostly from the festive season itself.
A little fuller and rounder than we need to be.
A little poorer than we would like to be.
A little more overwhelmed and exhausted.
And the presents. Where to start. Well as per usual I spent hours post Christmas day in each of my kids rooms tidying things out and finding a home for all the new things they acquired. And yes, even we give them way to much, things they just don't need.
And I said "no" to heaps!
While I am there I usually have a big clean out and go through their clothes, toss out any Maccas toys they have forgotten about and fill a bag or three to go to Vinnies.
And this year it seemed like there was a little less somehow.
A little less stuff to find homes for.
Now, I am certainly not complaining! Less is good . . . less is great. It may have something to do with the fact that my husband's side of the family has been doing a "no presents for the adults" thing. We give all the money we would normally spend on each other to purchase a school or a women's clinic through organisations like TEAR and OXFAM.
We have been doing this for a few years now and believe me it feels great when I don't even have to think about gifts for his side of the family. The kids still get something but there is not the urge to go overboard when we are doing something meaningful for everyone else.
Also, it could be due to my attempts to encourage others to give my kids experiences instead of gifts. Yes - it is nice for them to have something under the tree to open, but they will grow up sooner than we know and a trip out to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary for Christmas with Aunty B, is something very special indeed.
For a few years now my sister has caught the vision of "experience presents" rather than gifts and has been doing something special with the kids for their birthdays. She brings over a large cardboard box and paints it out in the yard with the kids, all noisy and messy like, and they play with it; making cubby houses and popping in and out of it. Then she has a sleep-over at our place and they get to wake her up at the crack of dawn instead of us. They absolutely love it!
Others too have been seeing the light and are making changes to the way they celebrate.
Check out this article on the Real Moms Guide Blog.
So perhaps we are doing it. And to be honest it feels great to know that in some small way we are downsizing "Christmas" and making it more about family, more about peace, joy, hope and love. Less madness and materialism.
I do hope that there will be a little less "Christmas" next year too.