If you find Christmas depressing you are not doing it right. (You spent money you don't have on people you don't like - stop that.)
Make spreading JOY your Christmas Tradition and you will find yourself and your family feeling . . . well, Joyous.
Don't believe the ads and marketing - spreading Cheer costs virtually nothing, though it is priceless.
There's still plenty of time to spread some Jolly around.
Have you been to a nursing home lately?It's a sad, depressing place. Until YOU brought your children with their smiling faces and did a little dance or sang a sweet song. You don't need an invitation or a reservation - any nursing home in the country will welcome a smiling family with 30 minutes to say Merry Christmas or sing Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.
My mother-in-law produces a Grandkid Christmas Pageant every year. Every kid gets to learn a part and participate. We took the show to a Nursing Home to spread some Christmas Joy this year.
Making your neighborhood safer with Christmas Cheer is a wise investment.
We let Ainsley play outside with her friends unsupervised. I know it's a very old-fashioned thing to do. But, we do it for 4 great reasons -
1. We believe she can handle herself and every little bit of experience in handling herself in the neighborhood without supervision makes her better at handling herself.
2. We do not parent out of fear. We teach courage and parents have to go first.
3. We still believe in the overall goodness of human beings like our neighbors.
4. It makes her happy.
To make our neighborhood safer we go out into it and knock on doors and introduce ourselves. We delivered Christmas candles to spread Christmas Cheer. Zack, to his eternal remorse is not allowed out alone yet, but within the next few years he will be and twice this year the neighbors have brought him back after he escaped.
Knock. Knock. Hi, we're Tracee and Jeremy and these are our children. Perhaps you see them playing in the street, riding their bikes, hanging out with their friends. We sure do appreciate you looking out for them and helping them stay out of trouble. We're so happy we live in a safe neighborhood where people look out for each other's children.
This actually cost me nothing. See, my mother's neighborhood does this and she has been saving up the Christmas Candles delivered to her house for years. She's allergic to the scents and could not use them. Reduce, reuse, recycle. Very frugal neighborhood gifts that you might try include Christmas cookies, cocoa, fresh baked bread, banana bread, candy canes, ornaments from thrift stores, etc. Do whatever is easiest for you.
Christmas Caroling to the town's shut-ins.
Anonymously leave money for someone (in front of your kids).
Clear out toys and clothes we've outgrown to give to a family whose house burned down.
Light the Advent Candles as a family at church. Ainsley read a very long recitation and prayer perfectly.
More on this at Boycott Christmas in July.
If you do these types of Holiday Traditions with a smile on your face and Merry in your heart . . .
How could your children possibly think Christmas is about getting stuff?