And it worked! This year i did Christmas my way. The way I have wanted to do it for 16 years but never pushed to have. Im 36 weeks pregnant and for once I wanted to ENJOY Christmas as a mom AND as an adult. So hubby and I both said “Our way or NO way.”
Hubby has hated Christmas for most of his life. It was always about the adults and their parties, and the liquids served at said parties.
I wanted to be able to stay in my own house all day Christmas and not run from house to house trying to make time for everyone else ( with no young children I might add) My poor kids wouldn’t see their new presents until boxing day, after opening them Christmas morning! And they always received TOO MUCH.
We wanted it to be about family. Not about just the kids and their gifts, or the adults and their socializing.

1. All presents were bought AND WRAPPED by December 15.
ACCOMPLISHMENT: No late Christmas eve of sorting and missing items and frustration. No despised Christmas shopping amongst grumpy shoppers and what we aimed to get was on the shelves, usually at lower prices, than just before Christmas.

2. All invitations to come to OUR HOUSE were made and all guests were told that no food had to be added to our menu. Just come …. yae or nae ? Ps no alcohol.
ACCOMPLISHMENT: Babies had much needed naps, children enjoyed their gifts and down time. I even got to put my feet up.
Food wise, If someone backed out (though no one did) we were sure to still have our menu with nothing missing and not running out. Food for the whole day from breakfast to supper and snacks in between was also bought before Dec 15 and stored in a hamper with our menu plan.
Our plan if someone couldnt have come? Arrange another day to drive out and see them…but not on OUR day

3. The children drew secret Santa names and the money that use to to be split up for each child to buy for each sibling was used instead to buy for one sibling each on behalf of the other siblings… Eliminating cheap crap and dollar store items and resulting in one highly desired gift.
ACCOMPLISHMENT:  This one worried the kids. They were worried they wouldn’t get enough stuff. (spoiled) But they loved the end results and asked to do it again! They loved the QUALITY of their gifts and could, for the first time ever, remember who each gift came from.
They even got creative and added personal details to the presentation and wrapping of their gifts.
For example: Dad received a joint kids gift and they turned it into a Zombie Apocalypse …. Or Hospital Stay: Survival kit! (which ever comes first, the baby or the zombies!)
Simple items were relabeled with funny tags and put in a large box.
Hubby is so proud of it he is taking it as is to show off to the nurses.

The Scavenger Hunt

Remember Hubby really didn’t like Christmas? Well all the pre planning meant he participated BEFORE reaching the bah humbug stages if December.
This included planning a scavenger hunt for the oldest kids who were receiving gift cards from us so they could get the exact “it thing” they wanted . But they are still kids and it needed to be FUN, not just a hunk of plastic with a $ value in the tree. So in November the two of us wrote up clues for around the house and based them on HIS favorite adventure characters from d&d games.
The kids found all 7 clues and said next year we should make it longer!
Guess who else liked Christmas this year?!

Our two families got together in the same place at the same time for the first time EVER.
And with juice and tea and lots of coffee everyone socialized and learned about each other and showed our children what real family is. It’s US.

Favorite Gift

It was meant for my husband, but my mother in law brought a framed 8×10 photo of his highschool graduation.
Family pictures from his side are few because of a house fire. But the pride I see on his face when hubby looks at that picture just melts my heart! He is such a hard worker and that diploma meant the world to him! It also makes me feel a little more a part of his life that I wasn’t around for. It means a lot.
And golly he was as much a good looker back then as he is now! Im pretty sure I would have looked twice if i had been in his school! I still look twice at him now!

Well, those are my notes for this year.
I hope to repeat this again next year! There will be our 6th and last baby in the house then. And I hope to teach all of our family that Chritmas is about giving and loving