The hustle and bustle of the holidays always swoops in and takes me by surprise. It's like a giant typhoon that roars through town and engulfs everything in its path. I love the holiday season, don't get me wrong. But I have a tendency to get a bit stressed out and anxious about everything. This year we're really trying to focus more on the "experience" of the holidays as opposed to the worry and pressure to surround the Christmas tree with far too many presents. Buying gifts for my kids is one of my love languages. When I see a shirt that would look darling on one of the boys, or a little tchotchke that they might like, I love scooping it up and surprising them. I try not to do this too often, but I'll admit I'm a bit more indulging than I'd like. Struggling to figure out what the boys should get for Christmas has been too much of a headache for us. I love seeing them get excited about "stuff," but at the end of the days it's just that... "stuff." Sometimes it gets played with for 15 minutes, sometimes a few days. But very few presents really stick around for the long haul. It got me to thinking about giving the gift of presence and experience instead.
It's not a novel idea or anything, and it's certainly not new. I know many families practice the "want / need / wear / read" model of gift giving, but that just didn't really seem to fit our ideal this year. We have yet to solidify any actual plans or activities for the season, but I was hoping some of you could share what you choose to do with your kids (or when you were a kid).
Mike had to work the other night when the Christmas parade was in town, so I loaded up the boys and took them with Whitney and her crew. They had a blast! It was so much fun and I loved seeing their faces light up. I may or may not have cried a few times (but that's really no surprise there. I even cried when we took the boys trick or treating for Halloween.) It sort of hit me that these moments are what really matter. I love being able to just go do stuff with the kids. Seeing them experience something that they'll remember for a long time is so rad. I wish Mike hadn't had to work, but I understand the importance of what he does. It definitely made me more aware of how important it is to try and schedule these things for all of us to experience together.
Since we've only got a couple of weeks left until Christmas, I'm hoping to find a few things we can sprinkle into our calendar and experience as a family. Nashville usually has a pretty good selection of things to do / see, but how about where you live? Do you do seasonal activities as a family? I'd love to make it our tradition to invest our time and money into things we can do and remember as a family.
PS; I totally get the irony of posting something like this immediately after sharing a wishlist of my own. Things are nice, but experiences are way more fun.