From the Heart

01 Dec

Christmas! It is a wonderful time of year, but it can be hard on the pocketbook if you are not careful. Maybe it’s time to reflect on the season and gift giving with our children.

Gift giving is a wonderful thing and I am not suggesting we should abandon it, rather, just change our way of thinking and doing a bit. After all, what are we teaching our children? Most likely we are teaching them to shop, and to value material goods over anything else. My husband just calls it “crass consumerism”. The result is a society that is deeply in debt and piled high with needless stuff. Have you ever looked at how many yard sales there are each week?

What if you try creating new traditions with your sweet family — go Christmas caroling as a family or with friends, bake Christmas cookies, visit shut-in at the nursing home, wash someone’s car, string popcorn for your tree, offer to babysit for friends or family, shovel snow off the neighbor’s sidewalk, bake yummy pies to give as gifts, play football outside, send a Christmas note to a person in the military, volunteer at the food bank, create Christmas scrapbooks… All of these are either free or fairly inexpensive, but most of all they build strong family ties.

Look for ways to celebrate this year without having to buy so much. Personal gifts from the heart are usually most appreciated anyway.  Try giving a handmade coupon book to Grandma. I am sure she would love redeeming a coupon from her grandchild that was good for having a story read to her by her precious grandchild, or redeeming a coupon good for having them rake the leaves from her yard. Coupon books are excellent ideas to give to any family member.  Mom, help the kids make one for Dad.

I remember making my grandmother a very simple gift when I was very young. I took a little bottle and filled it with water and added food coloring. She kept the bottle until the day she died. I made my other grandmother a pet rock and she kept it until she passed away, too! As an adult, I was overwhelmed with memories and love when I found my simplistic gifts in their belongs as we cleared out their houses.

Focus on the true meaning of CHRISTmas this year. Build new traditions as you strengthen your family bond.

I wish you and yours a very merry of Christmas and a blessed New Year full of joy, good health, and prosperity-both financial and spiritual.


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2 responses to “From the Heart

  1. quaintscribbles

    December 5, 2011 at 6:25 PM

    Sounds like a neat tradition, Tonya! I agree that your child will most likely look back on fond memories from her childhood, and she will appreciate being raised with good values that she can pass on to her children.

  2. Tonya Root Schulte

    December 5, 2011 at 5:50 PM

    I really agree with what you have to say. I was a single mom for a year and a half after my daughter was born. I lived with my parents and my daughter and I never wanted for anything, but the first year I was married, my husband and I went incredibly overboard on gift buying. Our then 2-year old got about halfway through opening things and suddenly became very frustrated and threw a blanket over her head, refusing to open anything more. In the four years since, we have progressively scaled back every year. This year, we limited gift giving to only two gifts from each person to each other and also made the rule that one of the gifts has to be handmade – we also said that if only one gift is given it must be the handmade gift. 🙂 I am LOVING this and just might make it a new tradition. We always go caroling and take either homemade baked goods or a homemade ornament to each of the houses in our neighborhood, too. I think you are right, that our kids will probably look back on the making of these items as some of their fondest memories!


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