Ah, Christmas… The most wonderful time of the year! Unless you’re a Mum, and the success of the season lies solely on your weary shoulders (and of course your poor, harassed bank account!)
We totally understand! But what if we told you that Christmas can be meaningful without being overwhelming AND without breaking the bank?
It may sound crazy, but hear us out…
Plan, Plan, Plan
They say the key to success is good planning. This is true in many aspects of life, whether it’s planning your weekly meals, planning an itinerary or planning your household budget. The same is true for Christmas. It might be the last thing on your mind right now, but the best thing to do is set aside a chunk of time, sit down with a cuppa, a pen and your favourite notebook, and plan what Christmas will look like for you. Plan it all. Plan your family’s activities over the month of December, plan the presents, and if you’re hosting a big Christmas lunch or dinner, plan the menu. It may feel like a big time commitment to do this, but starting the silly season with a genuine plan of action will alleviate stress in the long term, prevent last-minute budget blowouts and help you schedule in every important activity. This guarantees you don’t get to Boxing Day lamenting the fact that you never got around to baking Christmas cookies with the kids this year.
Create Traditions – and Stick With Them!
Half the joy of Christmas is not the actual day, but the traditions surrounding it. The Christmas season is an exciting time, and having family traditions will make it that much more special for everyone. While you don’t want to fill the days of advent with non-stop activities (talk about exhausting!), intentionally choosing 3-5 annual Christmas traditions to enjoy will enhance the spirit and help to create lasting memories. The key to choosing traditions is to ensure you follow them year after year – the more deeply entrenched they are in your family’s annual celebrations, the more meaningful they become. The best part about creating your own traditions is that you can choose ones that fit with your budget and beliefs.
Some of our favourite low-budget family-friendly traditions include:
– Driving around your neighbourhood to see people’s Christmas lights
– An annual Christmas cookie swap event with family and friends
– Decorating the tree together
– Attending a local Christmas carols event or free concert
– Reading a Christmas story book on Christmas Eve
And for those happy to spend a little bit of money:
– Buy Christmas pyjamas for your kids to wear throughout December
– Take an annual family shopping trip to each select one new tree decoration
– Find a local Hamper or Toy appeal and contribute a few items
You can search Google and Pinterest for even more budget-friendly Christmas traditions.
Consider Your Reason For The Season (it doesn’t have to be religion)
Whether or not your family subscribes to religious beliefs, there is a reason that you choose to celebrate Christmas – even if that reason is to simply enjoy time with your family. It’s so easy to get caught up in the Christmas chaos that you can forget why it’s even important. Consider what your reason for celebrating is, and keep this in mind as you plan and enjoy your celebrations. If you do hold religious beliefs, consider visiting a local church on Christmas Day. If you don’t, explain to your kids why you believe Christmas is important for your family to celebrate – chances are, they will end up growing up to feel the same way. By stepping back and focusing on your true reason for the season, you may find yourself feeling less fluttered when the small details go awry.
Be Present (not presents!)
As Mums, we can easily be guilty of switching to autopilot and getting things done. Somebody has to do it right?! But nothing will make Christmas more meaningful for your kids than a Mum who is present and engaged. So this Christmas season, don’t over-commit your attention to the details. Channel more of that energy into those sweet little faces, and less into the idea of creating a ‘perfect’ Christmas experience. We guarantee this will make the season so much more meaningful for the whole family.
Showing your children a meaningful Christmas is truly a priceless gift. How do you make Christmas meaningful in your family? Let us know in the comments below!