I love what a friend wrote about Xmas, here:

It was so nice to have a quiet, reflective holiday this year, full of quiet traditions, long bike rides, crafting and creating together and discussions of what we want the solstice and christmas to be about in our family. We really emphasized the time spent together, we enjoyed baking sun cookies together, creating a gingerbread house, making different types of lanterns, singing carols around a bonfire, walking along a candlelit lantern spiral and making felted stockings. We found a turkey breast with the bone in, cranberry sauce, gravy and pumpkin pie from a local Whole Foods, so were able to create quite a feast for our dinner, and then enjoyed pumpkin pancakes for a celebratory brunch!

I also loved how little our holidays were focused on gifts this year, and how that didn’t faze the kids’ enjoyment at all. We haven’t had access to mail since we left, and many people didn’t bother mailing packages as they doubted whether we’d get it in time anyways. So the kids woke up to their stockings full of little treasures, and one wrapped gift each. Usually our tree is overflowing with gifts, and the kids become overwhelmed with so many new things. I find it such a challenge, as I too love to give gifts and it’s such a traditional way of showing people that we care about them. But watching how happy the kids were this year with a few small gifts, and how wonderful our holiday was with the focus on time and experience over material goods, we are re-inspired to find new ways to find the balance. I think it’s up to us to change the patterns of the next generation – in a time when so many of us are drowning in STUFF, feeling overwhelmed with clutter, not to mention all the issues with child labour, destroying the planet and toxic toys being sold, it only makes sense to start taking steps to change our patterns. Perhaps we can all start brainstorming now for new traditions we’d like to create – like replacing material goods with experiences (taking the kids to the ballet or a holiday play, for example) and spending time playing boardgames together rather than shopping at a mall. 



1 Comment

  1. erica said,

    January 1, 2009 at 7:26 pm

    Hey Dawn! I was checking in on your blog while I was on Mothering……what a pleasant surprise to find my own words here:-) I’m glad you enjoyed it, it’s been an ongoing discussion about how to meld together two families’ traditions along with our changing desires for our small family – sticky stuff, this holiday stuff!!!!! However, we really enjoyed ourselves this year. If I could keep all of PLUS have a big family meal, it would have been perfect!

    Hope all is well with you, glad to hear the illness seems to be lifting, may 2009 be a fabulous year for you all!

    Cheers, Erica

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