Encouragement Kids

Giving All Year: Our Holiday Traditions

It’s the most wonderful time of the year again. Andy Williams sang it best letting everyone know there will kids jingle belling, parties for hosting and hearts will be glowing. Loved ones will be near and it will the happiest season of all. I’m going to be super honest here and say I only care for certain parts of the Christmas season. What? Yes, it’s true. Hang with me here.

There’s too much pressure to get Christmas right. We stress at getting all the gifts ready, Christmas cards out the door, baking cookies, and not to mention teacher gifts. We have the most amazing teachers, but seriously, when did this become a thing? Being a parent has taught me a lot and this year is no exception. It’s also taught me how to be really good at saying no and prioritizing what’s really important.

We celebrate the birth of baby Jesus each year. BSF gives us a birthday cake for us to celebrate his arrival. It’s so precious to watch them sing Happy Birthday to him. This year however, we ate it early to celebrate Madelyn potty-training and pooping on the potty. You do whatever it takes to celebrate potty-training in our house. 

We give one big gift at Christmas. Meaning my kids get only one big gift like a bike, or something they’ve wanted all year. One of my family member’s posted an article about how the wise-men brought baby Jesus 3 gifts. This got me thinking that our kids don’t need a lot of stuff. 3 things (want, need and wear) is truly all anyone needs. In full disclosure, my poor kids got a minimalist, frugal mother, so they’re sorta screwed. 

We bake cookies for everyone and the kids hand them out.  Our kids love baking cookies, but most importantly we have a blast handing them out. We walk to our neighbors houses, the kids ring the doorbell and say Merry Christmas. We also hand them out to teachers (win-win for teacher gifts). This puts a smile on everyone’s faces and it’s super easy to do whether you work inside or outside the house. 

We make a Christmas ornament to put on the tree. Next year, I’ll buy some ornaments, but the handmade ornaments are so cute. In MOPs, one of our leaders, bought and collected Christmas ornaments for all of her kids. When her children left home, they had a full collection of ornaments for their tree. Building traditions can help bring the holidays to life. 

We give to certain organizations at the end of the year. My kids are starting to ask questions such as ‘why is that person without a home’ or ‘why are they ringing those bells’? Right now, we’re explaining why some kids don’t have toys and we need to give some of ours to help them out. It’s hard for Madelyn (3) to grasp this, but Harrison (4) has a giving spirit and preciously picks out which toys to give to another child. 

While I still stress about getting it all done, my kids remind me to slow down and have fun during the holidays. Christmas cards are my burden to bear, but we’ve really tried to focus on giving all year. Giving puts a smile on everyone’s faces even if it’s something as simple as cookies.  We all need some extra cheer at the holidays, so give to the person ringing the bells. Andy Williams will sing to you as you do!


Heather V Shore is a wife, mother and domestic violence survivor. Check out her site for book updates and more!

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