I love giving gifts at Christmas....it is my way of showing people I care. I enjoy shopping and getting gifts I think (hope) family and friends will enjoy. But this Christmas (like many before it) we don't have much $$$ to give great gifts. I find myself reaching out for something in the store, only to pull my hands back empty *you don't have enough money for that Crystal*. This has happened umpteen times this year, and the one day I went shopping with friends, I got only what was on my list, and still felt like I over spent.
I found myself trying to find a balance and really remember what is the real reason for Christmas. I remember as a child there were Christmases where we had very little...nothing under the tree. And the wonder and joy I still felt when allowed to make home made decorations for a little tree we found in the woods, and the suprise and gratefulness when neighbors brought over beautifully wrapped gifts for us. I am not sure just where all the pressure comes from to have gifts for my children...myself, the media, family? But it's there. I have even visited the blogs of large families to see what they are giving their children, and used that as a guide line for what we are giving our children. I also realize our lack of finaces has spurred me into greater creativity to make Christmas memories. We are starting some family traditions, which are important and where true memories are made. I don't remember many gifts as a child, but I do remember the times we spent together, that is what made a lasting impression on my child heart.
So I find myself asking myself....What do I want my children taking away from this Christmas season? Do I want them giving me their long list of what they want....and them knowing they will get it, or do I want them learning to love one another and cherish the memories we create together as a family, something they will take with them long after the toys are broken and forgotten.
This year we have made a few memories I already cherish.
1. Dancing to Christmas music. We had so much fun, being goofy, cute, graceful (even romantic as I danced with my hubby) we had so much fun dancing in the living room to the light of the Christmas tree...together...a family.
2. Making Christmas cookies, making a mess together, a family.
Realizing that memories are much more precious than gifts...something very special I can give my children. When I consider it all, I realize I already have the best gifts anyway...and the best gifts I can give are free.