this is a blog about memory keeping, funny stories & baked goods i make, and do my best not to eat. proper capitalization is always optional.


christmas: less is more

yes, it's november 9th, and i'm going to talk about christmas.
last christmas this idea sat heavy on my heart.

the idea of less being more.

we were struggling with what to buy the babe, cause let's face it..
he was one, and WAY more interested in his brother's toys & everything he wasn't supposed to get into than baby toys.
add to that that the dude is approaching that age were he plays less & less with toys.
and attempting to keep things equal & fair.
and being a one income family....
and we are firm believers if you can't pay cash, you can't have it.

and as i looked around at christmas time last year, i felt like something need to change.

mind you, we have NEVER been a family of extravagance at christmas.
as a child there were times when we had little to nothing under the tree,
and i can clearly remember everything we got those years when presents were sparse,
and i know in my heart how much i appreciated those things KNOWING how hard it was for my parents those years.
and now as an adult, i have always tried to remain reasonable about my urge to shower my kids with gifts.
('cause lets be honest, watching kids open presents on christmas morning is THE best)

but, were before we were able to eek out a little extra to give to family
& do a tree angel, or drop off a homemade item to a friend, or give something small to a teacher..
as a one income family, that's expanded to two children..
it's gotten much more tight at christmas.

the last two years we've cut out the 'extra' giving.
and when i think about all the blessings we ALREADY have in the form of jobs, health care, heat & food...
it seems ungrateful to get MORE, when others have LESS.

so, when i ran across this idea last christmas, i knew i was going this direction this year.
i knew it would allow us to GIVE more to those in need.
and i wanted the opportunity to teach my kids, especially the dude since he understands now..
how AWESOME it is to know you are doing something nice for someone who NEEDS it.

the idea i'm talking about consists of making a list with your kids of the following items:

something they WANT.
something they NEED.
something they'll WEAR.
something they'll READ.

i've seen some variations where they add/substitute something they'll WATCH, or PLAY, all geared towards the child's age..
and then i've seen some where they will add, "and I'd REALLY like it if you brought me..."
(and in our house, santa will still come with a small gift, and stocking treats)

so i sprung this idea on mason the other day.
i explained that instead of just giving me a list of a bunch of toys that he likely wouldn't play with anyways...
we were going to focus on something in each category, like how he needs a new soccer ball, or how he wants a nintendo DS.
i have to admit, i didn't give him (or myself) much credit.. and expected some whining.
i explained that by getting a couple of things he REALLY wanted, we'd be able to give to people we loved, or people who had less.

if i could have fallen on the floor (we were in the car) after his response, i would have.
he simply said 'it's okay mama, i'd rather have the things we need like food & electricity, and this way we can get presents for people so they know they are loved.'
i was SHOCKED.

i explained that he was going to be my big helper this year, and help us do for others.
he was TOTALLY on board, and has been asking me non-stop when he gets to start helping me out.
(sometimes i wonder how i'm getting this parenting thing right, especially when i feel like i'm always failing miserably!)

so, first on the list is Operation Christmas Child.
i won't go into too much detail, but you can look it up here.
there are locations EVERYWHERE to drop off.
(and the deadline is November 19th, so hurry!)
i hope you'll take a few minutes & check it out...
and maybe, if you're able (i know times are tough, but they are soo much tougher for someone else)..
you'll put together a box or two for a little girl or boy.
we are doing two boxes, one for each boy.

and i am ALREADY more excited about this christmas than i have been of any past.


ps. i just have to share, because it broke my heart, and showed me how much he really does love his uncle. he said he wanted to use the money we had to buy uncle ricky a present so he won't be so sad. it made me sad & so proud at the same time. having to explain divorce to a child is a horrible heart-breaking experience.

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