I'm getting SUPER excited
for the holidays this year.
for the holidays this year.
I do know that it's not even Thanksgiving yet.
This is not usual for me. I am a reformed Christmas-hater. It's always been a blur of stress and commercialism from my perspective. It also just makes me sad that people don't remember the real reason for Christmas....Jesus' birth. It's about spending time with family and eating good food and giving to others, but not just things that are made of shiny plastic and wrapped in pretty packages, but the gift of ourselves.
My Christmas hating has lessened over the past two years and it is in large part to the fact that Craig and I no longer celebrate Christmas in the "traditional" way. And that is by going into debt to buy people crap that they don't really need and most likely won't remember come July anyway (or even January 1st for that matter!). We stopped buying gifts and now celebrate Advent Conspiracy.
The basic premise is:
Instead of spending the entire holiday season running around snatching up gifts and spending too much money, we spend time together making our gifts and doing family things and then donate the money we would've spent on pointless gifts to Living Water International. I feel like this is a more holistic approach to the holidays that makes is so much more enjoyable. I also enjoy the challenge of coming up with gifts that don't suck or look like a 2nd grader made them :).
I don't share this to pat myself on the back, but rather to let you know that Christmas can be wonderful and and the memories can last beyond New Year's. The gift of time and making others feel loved is so much more meaningful than those that money can buy.
I encourage you to give it a try . It's not necessarily about not buying any gifts, but about thoughtful giving. If you don't have a crafty bone in your body, maybe you can come up with a gift that requires time (i.e. concert tickets) or perhaps something that is store bought, but requires thought about the gift receiver (i.e. a rare copy of your dad's favorite book). Also, I totally don't judge others who buy gifts, I just get really excited to share about Advent Conspiracy, because it's completely revolutionized the way I experience Christmas.
*Note: This idea still works even if you don't celebrate Christmas and celebrate a different gift-giving holiday instead.
**Added bonus: This is an even better idea in this current recession plagued economy, but is not the reason we do it :).
So....because I'm going to be making all of our gifts this year, I'll be posting much of my inspiration here on le blog, so even if you're not hand-making ALL of your gifts this year, you can get ideas should you decide to make even just some of them. So get your crafty pants on and stay tuned!
(*Please note: I'll be posting DIY projects that are perfect for the novice crafter as that's what I am...I like to choose projects that look difficult, but really aren't.)
How do you celebrate the holidays?
What is your favorite tradition?
What do you do to celebrate