I realized something a few years ago. When my mind drifts to the Christmas past, I do not remember gifts. Really. I could not tell you who gave what to whom, even if my life depended on it. Instead, my memories bring me back to family reunions, beloved friends, vacation activities and traditions.
I do not remember the toy or gadget that the Father brought me when I was ten years old. Under a real red cedar from the east, my father cut it off with his bare hands and I remember riding in town on the back seat of an old Oldsmobile Delta 88 in watching Christmas lights and commenting occasionally: "Oh! Wow! "
I do not remember what my high school friend gave me in grade 12, but I remember that several close friends and I went to sing Christmas all over the city at the back from a pickup truck and we had an explosion .I also remember that my family received dozens of Christmas cards, and we stuck them to a door so we could admire them and vote for the most beautiful cards
are largely eclipsed by the happy memory of my mother-in-law, frail and living with dementia, spending a day with us watching the movie animation , "Up", in front of a warm and nice fire.
I've been thinking about the frenzied commercialization of Christmas and other holidays. "Somewhere on the way, we've all been indoctrinated into thinking that Christmas does not come to mind. is not Christmas without spending a small fortune on gifts.We have been bombarded with images of luxury vehicles parked in the driveway topped with gigantic bows and women opening small boxes revealing sparkling diamonds. Retailers want us to believe that we can not find joy in the season without giving and receiving many, many things.
I understand. It's about profits. It's about the economy. According to the National Retail Federation, the holiday season can represent 20 to 40% of a retailer's annual sales. It's a big piece of crazy change. Indeed, if everyone chose not to buy Christmas presents, the United States would probably be in free fall.
But for me, it makes me want to see retailers advance the materialistic nature of Christmas several weeks in advance. Last year, Christmas decorations were in superstores before Halloween. For my part, I would like to see a Christmas revival where Christmas and the entire holiday season are celebrated in a simpler way with more emphasis on meaning, love, charity and the fraternal communion. I realize that it is a big order to complete, especially for families with young children. Whatever it is, I would like to come up with some ideas for vacations that do not cost a lot of money but are laden with value.
- READ A CHRISTMAS BOOK TO A CHILD. There are many great Christmas titles to share with children during the holidays. Check out some of the local library or visit a bookstore and buy one or more. Practice reading by giving each character their own voice and pausing to add suspense. Consider The Polar Express – It was the night before Christmas The Best Christmas Show Ever Seuss How the Grinch Stole Christmas, L & Christmas story, or Carl's Christmas. And if you can not read a book to a child in person, use your smartphone and video yourself while reading the book. Post the video on YouTube or Facebook and give the link to your nieces, nephews, grandchildren and neighborhood kids.
- WELCOME A SNOWFLOW COMPETITION First, select an impartial judge. Then ask each participant to fold, cut and unfold a sheet of white paper to make a single snowflake. Display all flakes on a table or large window and ask the judge to choose a favorite. Announce the winner as "The 2014 Snowflake Queen" or "The 2014 Snowflake King". Consider giving a small prize to the winner.
- LET THE FAMILY TREE. Family history and genealogy are always invaluable gifts for family members. On a large piece of paper, place your name on the far left. Draw lines that fork to the right and write the names of your mother and father. Make sure you record the full names, including maiden names, if you know them. Draw lines that extend to the right of each of your parents' names and write the names of each of their parents. Go as far as you can remember. If you have the time and motivation, make some phone calls or do some research on your family at the library or online and add them to the tree. To add even more value to the tree, attach sheets documenting details about some family members. For example, you could write: "My grandfather, Henry Herman Lanier, was a farmer who lived and farmed land just east of Metter, Georgia, and worked for the Fuller Brush Company and the Road. iron during his life. The man who smoked a pipe, Papa Lanier loved peach and chocolate covered cherries, and he always had a bottle of whiskey hidden under his truck seat. "
- GO CAROLING CHRISTMAS Make a few copies of six or seven Christmas carols, get your group together and practice a little bit, then walk around the neighborhood or go around the city and stop. you are at friends' place to sing and spread the joy.Once, if you can not go out, use a smartphone and create a Christmas video by posting it on Facebook or YouTube.
- VISIT YOUR FRIENDS AND YOUR SICK FAMILIES AND PEOPLE. The gift of time overrides any object you could buy. Take time and go away. Consider taking photos to share, a movie to watch, or others elements that would stimulate conversations (old memories or memories) .Take to take pills for a cup of coffee, an ice cream cone or to look at the Christmas decorations.If someone is sick during the holidays, think about take him two cans of noodle soup at chicken, cough lozenges and a tissue box.
- GIVING GIFTS BY HAND. Over the years, I have received wonderful homemade gifts from my mother. She made pillows, blankets, pickles, jelly, barbecue sauce, cakes and pies. These gifts are more special than impersonal gift cards or money, and I am happy to know that she has not spent a fortune.
- GIVE A KEEPSAKE OR A HEROLOGIC. Remember to send a souvenir and a souvenir to a family member or friend. Do you have your great-grandmother's apron? Or your father's penknife or fishing lure? Or a vase from Aunt Jenny's house? Or the first book you read? Maybe it's time to let go of one of your special belongings. And think about capturing the origin and history of your paper souvenir for the recipient.
Stringed popcorn. Attend a church service together. Make hot chocolate from scratch. Find a living nativity scene in your community. Try to do deity or fudge. Volunteer at a local nonprofit. Ring the bell in front of a kettle of the Salvation Army. Feed the hungry. Buy a coat for a homeless child. Take a name from an angel tree and provide a toy to a less fortunate child. Learn to play a favorite Christmas song on the piano and wow your holiday guests. Tell those close to you how much you love them.
Instead of spending too much this year, consider participating in simple activities that improve relationships and add meaning and memories to life. Think about it before buying this year. It's really not about that!