We’ve tried to keep Christmas as simple as possible this year. Every morning, Aaron and Tabitha have been so excited to add another character to the nativity scene on our advent calendar. Throughout the month we’ve been reading our Nativity picture book, which tells the story using the words of the King James Bible.
We celebrated Saint Nicholas Day again this year on the 6th. The children cleaned their shoes the evening before and left them outside their bedroom door to be filled with chocolate coins.
We’ve done a little baking and crafting but not much. These decorations for the Two Rivers Christmas Fayre were so simple to make with wooden curtain rings, yarn and jingle bells.
During the second week of December I set out an invitation to decorate the tree, which is the earliest we’ve ever had it up! We have a small potted tree because neither Colin nor I can bear the thought of a tree being chopped down, used for a couple of weeks and then thrown away. It lives on the balcony for the rest of the year and grows alongside the children.
The children and I were invited to attend a Christmas celebration at their Steiner kindergarten. After a bring and share lunch, the children performed a little nativity and sang some carols. Then they were given simple gifts of an orange and a tiny felted mouse inside a walnut shell.
The children opened their stockings containing an apple, a small box of chocolate figures and some new bath toys as soon as they woke up on Christmas morning. Later we opened the presents under the tree together. This year we agreed with both sides of the family to give gifts to children only. It seems so pointless to spend money on clutter that nobody really wants, just for the sake of it. Aaron and Tabitha got one present each from us and some lovely gifts from friends and family.
We had originally planned to have Christmas on our own but were delighted to have Colin’s mum and youngest sister join us for the day instead. In the past I’ve found cooking Christmas dinner in our tiny kitchen quite stressful, but we shared out responsibility for buying the food and Colin helped loads with preparing the veggies. We spread out the three courses over several hours and the whole day was laid back and relaxed.
After dinner we started an epic game of Monopoly, which lasted for almost four hours until we gave up and declared a draw!
We spent Boxing Day at my parent’s house, along with my brother and sister-in-law and Granny.
I am not a big fan of Christmas and Colin is even more of a Grinch! I can’t stand all the consumerism, stress and wastefulness. After last year we seriously considered sending out letters to all our relatives informing them that we would no longer be celebrating it! I’m still not sure how we will deal with it in the future, but simplifying Christmas this year was definitely a success.
Here are some of my favourite links about simplifying Christmas (I’m sure I’ll be back to read them again next year!):
The Case Against Buying Christmas Presents from Zen Habits
The Helpful Guide to Simple Christmas Links from Becoming Minimalist
Guide to Commercial-Free Holidays: Tips for Resisting Holiday Hype from Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood