So, I have been a little sidetracked this week with Christmas shopping and planning, hence the quiet blog. This is one of the first years that I actually feel ahead of schedule! I even have most of my husband’s gifts wrapped and under the tree. Unfortunately, all of the extra Christmas cheer around here has meant a more quiet blog week.
With my head stuck in Christmas planning, I thought it would be fun to hear from you on how your Christmas plans are coming. Are you keeping things simple, or have big plans for parties? What food are you planning on making? I’d love to hear!
Here’s what is going on in our household (so far).
Every year is a little different for us. Some years we’ve kept things, very, very simple. Other years, with very little budget, we got creative in how to make or find gifts for our extended family. While we are still spending significantly below the national average for Christmas gifts, this is one of our more well-thought out Christmases, with some nice things being given.
I have loved giving gifts since a young child. I think it’s one of my love languages, if you will. While I think that it’s very important not to allow gifts to distract us from the really important things in life (like faith and family), gifts can be a way of expressing our gratitude for those really important people in our life. So, while my gifts may not always be large and expensive, I love giving them.
For the stockings, I kept things pretty simple. What I didn’t want to do was buy a lot of cheap plastic toys. So, instead, my five-year-old’s stocking is going to be full of art supplies (she LOVES doing crafts). I am really excited to give her these. In both of the girls stockings, they will find an Anamalz animal. I fell in love with these well-crafted animals, and thought it would be fun to start a little collection for the girls. My 14-month-old baby also has a couple of board books in her stocking. Her stocking is not going to be half as full, but she has high-quality, long lasting books and a toy. (Plus she’s not going to notice that at 14 months!).
Joel and I decided not to do stockings for each other this year. We generally haven’t. It always makes me a little sad, but it allowed us to have more of a budget for the girls, which makes me glad.
Both of the girls are getting a couple, very nice, high quality toys under the tree. I think I am just as excited to give them, as they are too open them. The one thing I found was that it really doesn’t work to wait all year to buy certain items for your children. For example, I had really wanted to get my 5-year-old a new gymnastic leotard-but decided to wait until Christmas. But when I looked at the budget, I realized I couldn’t fit it in. Some items just have to be spread throughout the year. Lesson learned!
I better keep my husband’s gift non-public, otherwise he might find out what he’s getting. But I am really happy with everything I got him this year. I spent far more time planning and shopping specifically for him this year, and am glad that I did. My husband sacrifices a lot for his family and deserves far more expensive gifts, but I know he will like mine.
I am just starting to think about this as we still have time. We have to decide our Christmas Eve plans, but I’d like to make a nice dinner then. I’ve always thought that the Italian Feast of the 7 Fishes on Christmas Eve was a lovely tradition. Growing up, our Christmas Eve was more like the Feast of the 1 Fish, as we enjoyed homemade clam chowder. I am mulling over what I want to do.
I am also hoping to get to a few new Christmas candy recipes done before Christmas. If I do, I will be sure to share any that work out well.
After Christmas stocking and presents at home, we are going over to Joel’s family’s house to exchange presents and eat brunch together. Later we will probably go to church together. I still need to work on some recipes for a gluten-free Christmas brunch for my 5-year-old.
I am not sure if it will work out with the busy holiday season, but we are also hoping to see a few of our friends during Joel’s Christmas break. I was thinking of hosting a small Christmas dinner party with a couple of them. If I do, I will definitely enjoy planning a more full meal for that as well. We will see what happens!
So there are my plans. I’d love to hear yours!