Have a More Meaningful Christmas
Edited by Nerissa Avisado, Eng, Lynn, Nuance and 1 other
Christmas is a special time of the year when love and peace pervades homes and the hearts of people. It conjures images of bountiful Christmas dinners, the exchanging of gifts, of sparkling colored lights and roaring fireplaces. People travel thousands of miles to be with their families to spend time together. Who doesn't want that kind of traditional white Christmas, especially when you have kids that you want to experience the same kind of magical Christmas you had as a child?
Sadly, with so much suffering in the world, isn't it more important to teach your children the value of having a meaningful Christmas, rather than one filled with expensive gifts?
Year after year, doing what one usually does is comfortable and yes, complacent. Changing one's habits or finding ways to do things differently is more challenging. But if you want to give more meaning to your Christmas, you need to get out of your comfort zone, take a bold step forward and use your imagination.
December is such a good month to start embracing the challenge as it offers countless opportunities to share lessons in faith and kindness. Regardless of who you are, what you have, and what you do, you can have a more meaningful Christmas.
Have a Simple Christmas
Christmas is and will always be magical. But, it's wrong to think that it has to be excessive for it to be meaningful. For a meaningful, but inexpensive Christmas, it takes a little more effort and a lot of creativity. If you want your kids to appreciate the real meaning of Christmas, you have to do more than just buy expensive gifts and laden your table with too much celebratory dishes, and more chocolate than anyone should consume.
Charity Begins at Home
So this Christmas, teach your children charity. Show your kids how love can be shared with those who are less fortunate. These money-saving ideas are not meant for just those with money issues, they are meant for everyone. Christmas should not be about possessions and what you're going to get, and how much you spend. It's easy to donate money, if you have extra, but having yourself, and your kids raise the money, teaches them something so valuable. Here are some ideas for you:
- 1Meet up and plan with the family.Advertisement
- 2Suggest meaningful activities.Advertisement
- 3Set a budget.
- If you want to give gifts, choose something that the recipient has a need for.
- Re-gift. Things you may have been given that don't fit or done suit your tastes, bight be cherished by someone else. Just make sure the person you are re-gifting, didn't give you the gift in the first place.
- The value of a gift goes beyond its price. DIY and handmade gifts are far more precious than what money can buy. Homemade gifts are always appreciated because of the time and love put into the making. Even the small kids in your family, can draw names, and make gifts for people whose name they draw. It's important to teach children the joy of giving. When people say - it's all for the kids, if they don't give back, it sends the wrong message to them.
- Give meaningful gifts.
- 4Teach sharing by practice.
- 5Raise funds for charity.
Cutting Expenses This Christmas
With an ever volatile economy and a world full of starving people, it seems senseless and selfish to be splurging on material things this Christmas. If you want to save money this holiday, there are so many practical ways; here are some of them:
- 2Look for a smaller tree this year if you like it fresh. Otherwise, you can always go for an artificial tree that you can reuse each December. Store away Christmas tree decorations well so that they will look new, year after year.
- 3Buy gifts only for the children.
- 4Agree on not exchanging gifts this Christmas. Companies, organizations and groups may make a pact about not exchanging gifts this year. Some may just go for a simple get together with a simple fare and lots of games and fun activities to make the occasion still feel grand and festive.
- 5Use recycled papers to wrap your gifts.
- 6Create a simple but elegant dinner for your friends. You will spend less if you will just host a Christmas dinner for your friends. Some of them may even bring something so that they need not gift each one of you too. Depending on your age group, some fun things can be arranged so that you will still end up having a fun and meaningful Christmas without spending going overboard.
- 7Buy one gift for the family.
- 8Take advantage of freebies and sales before Christmas. If you can't be stopped from spending to buy Christmas gifts, buy months earlier from closing out sales and such. You can build your inventory of gifts throughout the year and start packing them with vintage and recycled fabrics, papers and ribbons just before Christmas.
Teach Your Children Well
An alternate way of thinking from a comment above - Christmas is for the children. This makes the assumption that it IS all about the gifts. If you only buy for the kids, especially after saying Christmas is for the kids, communicates to them that is all about getting stuff. You need to include kids in the gift giving, and teach them the value of it. Even the little ones can draw a picture or make a craft for someone else. The older kids can help the younger kids. Please don't give them the wrong idea.
In the same vein, adults need to feel loved too. Don't assume that a gift, especially handmade, isn't important to an adult, especially one without children, or which a partner, who might be very lonely. Maybe Christmas is for the kids, but at Christmas, aren't we all kids?
Tips, Tricks and Warnings
You may have not noticed it, but Christmas is a very stressful and expensive occasion with so many parties to attend, gifts to shop for and wrap, and foods to prepare.
- 1Having a simple Christmas and cutting down on costs means you have to start early. This means that the tasks are spread over more months, weeks and days. This is indeed less stressful. In fact, it lets you enjoy Christmas preparations more.Advertisement
- 2If you want to have a more meaningful Christmas, it has to be incorporated in the culture of your family for it to succeed. This is indeed a significant activity that brings together families.
- 3Truly, "charity begins at home." For such a long, long time people have been so wrapped up in celebrating Christmas in a commercialized tradition and fashion. With so many people suffering at Christmas, it just doesn't feel right to celebrate the holidays in an ostentatious manner.
- 4This year, Christmas will still be magical. But this time, it has nothing to do with Santas and giant Christmas trees. Rather, the magic of Christmas is coming from billions of people genuinely wishing each other a merrier Christmas.