Our Christmases have changed over the years from being very busy and full on to quite quiet. To be honest I prefer the livelier gatherings. As I kid we used to drive from our house around 3 hours to my Dad's families and have a big lunch get together. Then we would rush off to dinner with my Mum's family. This was busy, tiring but fun! When hubby and I first got together we would have big Christmases with his extended family - but along the line we lost those too. One of Hubby's brothers decided they didn't want to travel on Christmas Day to see both families - so now we do Christmas Day one year with Hubby's family, but the alternate year we catch up with them sometime before Christmas Day. These years are always quiet for us as my parents/sister's family are busy at lunch so we are often on our own at lunch. I want to catch up with my family each year - so we do dinner with my family each year.
When thinking about what I enjoy and don't enjoy about Christmases of the past I get the following:
- Christmas cards – writing them/sending them/feeling guilty at receiving them
- Eating a big lunch and a big dinner
- The stress of buying presents, what to buy and so on
- Last minute shopping – can’t get a park at the shopping centre
- Being rushed
- Putting up the Christmas tree as a family, listening to Christmas Carols, decorating the house
- Spending time with family
- Giving presents to the kids
- Seeing the excitement from the kids
- Advent calendars
- Giving World Vision gifts as the Cards for school/childcare teachers/staff
- Sharing with those in need - giving food for hampers etc, discussing this with the kids
- Christmas pageants
This year I want to start the Elf on a Shelf tradition. I thought about it last year but wasn’t organised in time. This year I’m following www.mypigeonpair.com My Elf on a Shelf series and have just purchased my girl elf and book. I hope this will be a great tradition!