Christmas is one of my favourite times of the year!
The nostalgia it brings. The kindness that strangers show each other. The snuggles on the couch watching Home Alone, and the Carols by Candlelight…. All of it.
The raw excitement…this what I want for my kids. It’s exactly what I hope them to remember, and what I’d love them to grow up cherishing about the most wonderful time of the year.
I want them to slow down, to revel in the festive season, and to embrace – with open arms – the inspiring chaos it brings.
Chaos that Damian and I know all too well – especially now that we run a small, family business. We work long hours (with our tiny girls in tow), fulfilling a promise we made to the many hundreds of beautiful people who support us, to make sure the gifts you buy for your loved ones arrive in time.
So, in so many ways, the idea of ‘slowing down’, reflection, taking in all in, it seems not only totally counter-intuitive to us, but near impossible.
But. Even so. Every year we make extra effort to savour family time and be present, and mindful, of this time of year.
As part of this effort, we’re doing our best to teach our girls about conscious gift giving (and receiving). We want them to know that the true value of Christmas is that of family coming together. And that thoughtful, loved-soaked gift-giving is so, so much more valuable than a Christmas of utter, overwhelming excess.
I’m not alone in straight up admitting that I don’t believe children need oodles of presents to feel loved or to understand the meaning of Christmas.
The whole undertone of our business, honestly, is around the idea of gifting meaningfully, beautifully and with purpose.
However, I do want to see my girls’ eyes light up on Christmas morning when they see that Santa came. I want the magic to stay alive for them.
Despite myself, I do want to spoil them – just a little – and I want to keep the excitement of Christmas morning just as enchanting as I remember from my childhood.
And so, with all this in mind? And with a view that Christmas is a time when less is absolutely more…I keep myself on track during the holiday season by following a simple saying I read about years ago:
Each child gets – Something they want, Something they need, Something to wear and Something to read. And this year – just for fun – we’ve added ‘Something to share’, and ‘Something to do’.
This saying is beautiful in its simplicity.
I love how the “want /need /wear /read” and even the addition of “share” & “do” tradition brings a sense of intention to our gift-giving. It keeps my spending on path. It unclogs my head when it comes to the overwhelm that November and December can bring.
Honestly? It keeps my girls from becoming completely overwhelmed by the sheer abundance of gifts on Christmas morning, aligns with our goals of wanting to be a more thoughtful gift-givers.
And, while I know it’s not for everyone, (and I totally get that), there’s no question that this themed giving is handy for families that want to give thoughtful gifts in a simplified way. So, I thought I’d share it with you, in case it works for you, too.
As we approach Christmas time, and our lives ramp up into the busyness of the end of the year – we’re open to embracing whatever we can that helps us declutter both outwardly and inwardly.And in the end? My hope is that I’m helping my girls become more mindful of what they already have, what they really want, and what the spirit of gift-giving is all about.
Merry Christmas, and happy gift-giving, you guys. However it looks in your family. x
PS. Recently, I’ve come across a slightly altered version of simplicity gift giving: Something cool, something for school, something you’ll wear, something to share. I love it just as much! And I’m interested to know what you guys think too? 🙂