Have you noticed that the most memorable moments in life are often the simplest? Children, in particular, are happy with simple, basic pleasures. Life is too complicated all by itself, and at Christmas time, it gets even worse! Aim for a simple Christmas this year.
Focus on simple activities that make the most of family time together. To make sure they actually happen, the key is scheduling. In my life, if it goes on the calendar, it gets done. If it floats around in my head, it will almost always be forgotten. So grab that December calendar, think about what your family would enjoy, and then make a date! Here are some ideas to get you started.
- Family game night — card games, board games, teach the kids how to play backgammon. One of our new favorites is Tenzi, a fun dice game you can play just about anywhere.
- Family baking night. If funds are low, put your food storage to good use! From-scratch goodies can be very frugal when you’re talking about snickerdoodless, sugar cookies, caramel popcorn, oatmeal cookies, gingerbred, and brownies. See what you already have the ingredients for and try not to run out to get anything else. For sure, if your plan is to just buy one ingredient, say chocolate chips, you’ll end up spending fifty bucks. That’s the way these things work!
- Set out a Christmas jigsaw puzzle and spend time working on it throughout the month. You can probably find one at a thrift store.
- Family talent night. No talent? No problem! This is for pure entertainment, and a few laughs!
- Walk around the neighborhood to look at the lights, or become impromptu Christmas decoration judges and actually award prizes houses with the most outstanding light displays.
- A family craft night, making ornaments or gifts. I list numerous possible crafts in this article that ar suitable for gifts but also as a family hobby.
- Invite a few friends over for a holiday goodie potluck, hot chocolate, and reading the real Christmas story
- Hot chocolate. Tonight my son came home drenched from an icy rainstorm and hubby walked in minutes later, chilled. I whipped up some homemade hot chocolate from scratch and we enjoyed the hot drink together before getting back into the busyness of our day.
- Churches in your area will be holding festivities of all kinds and all will be free.
- Check out your library’s event calendar. There will be holiday story hours and activities and maybe craft hours.
I’ll bet you could add a half dozen or more suggestions to this list. Keep it simple and inexpensive. Your aim is a peaceful holiday with memorable moments — not mom with a migraine, stressed hubby, grumpy kids, and an emptied bank account.
If we say that spending time with our family and friends is the most important part of the holidays, then doesn’t it make sense to do just that? Simple times spent together make memories and build relationships.
Years ago, friends gave us tickets to see “The Christmas Sweater” with Glenn Beck. I’ll never forget a comment he made — what he wants most for Christmas is time. We can make more money, we can buy more food, we can get more stuff, but the one thing we can’t make more of is time. Make the most of the time that is still left of this beautiful holiday season by scheduling simple, fun activities with the ones you love. Ultimately, those are the moments that make forever memories.