The holiday season is upon us, with its myriad of options and guilt-inducing Pinterests about what the “good” parents are doing for their kids this season – the must-have toys, shows, character events, daily gifts….
it’s too much.
There. I’ve said it. It’s too much. No one thing in and of itself is wrong, per se, but the sheer volume is too much.
When my oldest, J, was 2, my parents took us to a children’s museum. We spent a few minutes in the first exhibit, and then they pushed us to move on, because there was so much to see, and we only had a couple hours.
That approach may work for some, but for us, doing a few things, and doing things well, will always be preferable to running from one activity to the next, making sure we don’t miss out.
This summer, we took our kids to their first fireworks display. It was a big deal – one that, because of sensory issues, involved careful planning and air-traffic-control grade earmuffs. (Aff)
We sat next to a family who had already been to four displays that week, and while my kids were in awe of this display, they were comparing and critiquing it against all the other ones. It’s their hobby – what they enjoy doing as a family, and I don’t pretend to tell them what’s right for them, but it sure isn’t how we roll.
So, in the spirit of intentionality and wonder this holiday season, we are NOT doing
- Elf on a Shelf
- Character appearances
- Polar Express
- Holiday Theater
- Daily Advent presents
- Santa or themed pictures
- Large, chaotic crowds
- Elaborate presents or shopping
What we ARE doing
- Spontaneous dance parties by the Christmas tree
- Light shows – well decorated homes, a couple local ones for good causes
- Candy Cane Joe-Joe’s from Trader Joe’s (they’re amazing)
- Lots of Christmas books & crafts
- Time with family & friends
- Supporting local businesses & charities that we believe in
- Time at church and at home recounting the true Christmas story (This Little People Nativity (aff) is great for littles!)
Our goal, at the end of December, is not for our kids to have felt entertained, spoiled, or pampered, but that instead they would have sensed, even more fully, what a gift Christmas is, what Love come down to Earth, is all about, and that they can take that with them in the weeks and years to come.
… and for those of you who, like me, aren’t well versed in internet slang, FOMO means “Fear of Missing Out”.
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