stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons.
It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags.
And he puzzled and puzzled ’till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before.
What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store.
What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.”
Growing up, I remember always looking out for “How The Grinch Stole Christmas“ on TV. I enjoyed watching the Grinch’s heart grow and how he was included in the big feast with all the Whos. This holiday classic taught us the essential holiday lessons. But if you watch this movie on TV today, you’ll be bombarded with commercials telling you to buy, buy, buy. Maybe I’m more sensitive about this now that I am a parent trying to raise well-balanced children. But if the violent heights of Black Friday is any indication, this consumerism is getting way out of hand.
There are alternatives. Leo Babauta from Zen Habits wrote about The No New Gifts Holiday Challenge. He wrote about ways to create new traditions that require a little creativity and lots of fun in the process. (And he wrote a follow-up to that post after receiving some concerned comments). You don’t need to spend a fortune to make Christmas memorable.
Although I won’t be following this challenge completely, I will make changes. This challenge doesn’t have to be all or nothing. I found a few great gifts from thrift shops that will be much appreciated. We will be making some of our holiday decorations. Maybe we’ll select some of our favorite photos of the year and have the kids dictate stories about those experiences. There are so many traditions we can start that don’t cost much. Just making the time for them will be the challenge!
What are some of your Christmas traditions? How do you keep the spirit of the holidays intact?