dear daughters (on keeping Christmas simple)

dear daughters,

Please, please don’t freak out about buying a bunch of expensive gifts for people this holiday season. It’s not worth breaking the bank to load up on a bunch of stuff that couldn’t even begin to tell people how you really feel about them.

For years, Christmas was stressful for me because we never had a big budget (or really one at all) for Christmas gift giving. It took me years to get comfortable being frugal and practical, years to not feel embarrassed that we couldn’t match people’s generosity toward us.

But you know what? For all the Christmases that have come and gone, the gifts aren’t really remembered and even the ‘BIG DAY’ ~ that isn’t what’s remembered. Because the ‘BIG DAYS’ (Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc.) are usually crammed packed with a lot of travel, too much food and sometimes a boatload of stress.

It’s weird and wrong we’ve piled expectations on those sweet days.

dear daughters on keeping christmas simple

So in an attempt to relieve those special holidays from all our unfair expectations … let’s start by promising each other that we won’t lean on gifts to express affection. No ridiculous spending. No fretful catalog stalking late into the night wondering how to get it all done on a limited budget. And no pinteresting impossible, expensive crafts to make with our little uncrafty hands. Christmas is not meant to be that kind of BIG DEAL.

And also, let’s promise (especially my promise to you now that you’re married and on your own) we won’t make getting together on the BIG DAYS such a BIG DEAL that we I get our my feelings hurt about trips missed on those days.

Because you know what? All the in between days matter just as much as the ‘BIG DAYS.’

There are 365 days in a year to remember people in thoughtful, inexpensive and free ways. A call, a text, a funny photo shared. An old-fashion letter or a homemade loaf of bread. A hug, a smile, an unexpected visit. There’s so many ways we can love one another … and so many days to choose from.

Let’s promise to find fun ways to be creative about small, tiny gifting opportunities like time and affection expressed in words and actions that have nothing to do with gifts under the tree.

My promise to you, dear daughters (and dear sons) is to never be dramatic about making one or two days a year ‘BIG DAYS’ when there are so many in between to enjoy.

Okay, loves. I promise. You promise, too.

And when God brings us back together to see each other again, let’s celebrate the real gift … that’s me & you.