Wednesdays are simplicity days at SimpleProductivity blog.
Our holiday season is going to be a simple one. As a multi-faith household whose beliefs differ from our families of origin, we have in times past gone overboard on the holidays, both activities and gifts, as we try to celebrate everything. This year, due to economic necessity, we will be cutting back. This does not mean that we are going to have a miserable holiday season, just a simpler one.
It’s Not About The Gifts
I’ve known this for some time, but in years past my husband and I have tried to out-do two enthusiastic grandmothers, one of whom makes up for lack of proximity with masses of gifts. But what it boils down to is not the stuff that will be given, it’s about the memories. And with our families spread out across the country, my husband and I are the ones who are going to create the memories for my daughter.
There are two types of memories: activity and sense.
We are going to be doing a lot more this holiday season. We will be taking advantage of something special in our community: riding on the boardwalk looking at the lights put up by the city. This is a big deal, and the lights are amazing, going across the boardwalk, onto the beach, and lasting for a mile or so.
My daughter and I will also be baking cookies. Not the simple type I favor, but the labor-intensive sugar cookies with frosting and decorations. It is time we will spend together in the kitchen, creating something special.
I try to make the home special at this time of year by appealing to all senses. For sight, it is the holiday decorations drawing on various belief systems: Buddha sits on the mantel wrapped in holiday greens, next to eight tiny reindeer.
I pull out my Christmas Cookie Yankee candle at this time of the year as well. It makes my daughter think of the holidays, and will continue to do so well into the future.
Tasting means sampling the tastes of our ethnic heritages. My family is Scandinavian and German, so there is a great deal of sweet bread and cookies at this time of the year. There are certain things I only make at this time of the year, including my grandmother’s peanut butter fudge.
Who can think of a holiday without a soundtrack? My husband and I have pulled together our favorites and we play them during the season. They include Mannheim Steamroller, Andy Williams, and George Winston.
For touch, I am making my daughter some hand-knitted clothes for her teddy bears. The material is soft and will hopefully make her think of this season.
By making a conscious effort to focus on activities and the senses, we will be giving our daughter something much more than commercial toys.
Photo by turtlemom4bacon