A couple of them know Christmas is coming, but they don’t know a whole lot about it, save that it’s a bit of an exciting time of year where mummy doesn’t do any work, daddy doesn’t build or fix anything (except toys of course!) and we all hang out and eat nachos together (yes.. seriously), play with some toys and have a few adventures.
At this time of year, wherever we go there are Christmas trees, decorated to within an inch of their life – some of them are carefully curated with specific colours and designs and they look beautiful; others are decorated by children, look even more beautiful and also look like there was a lot of fun involved in creating that Christmas masterpiece.
So my kids know what Christmas trees look like.
In the spirit of being honest, and living by what I often say… I feel like I need to show you our Christmas, and tell you my learnings about that.
So last year – our Christmas tree was the one on the left – it’s a bit of a branch we chopped down from one of the giant pine trees at our home. And you know what? The kids had an absolute BLAST decorating it.. it was so much fun putting decorations and lights and tinsel on it. The smell was that beautiful pine smell. It was fun! So fun!
I’ll be honest, it did take me some convincing to enjoy our tree initially because it didn’t look like a “real” tree – but once I got over myself and saw how much fun the kids were having, it honestly didn’t matter, it was fun! And Christmas was fun!
This year, our Christmas tree is on the right. We bought it from a Christmas tree farm because I convinced myself we had to have a “real” Christmas tree. I wanted to know whether the fun level would be any different or the “feeling” of Christmas would be more, because we had a “real” tree. I wondered if we would love it in any greater amount. And you know what? The kids had an absolute BLAST decorating it.. it was so much fun putting decorations and lights and tinsel on it. The smell was that beautiful pine smell. It was fun. So fun!
I don’t think the kids would have cared what our tree looked like, they had so much fun hanging the decorations on the tree – both years.
They were just as excited. Both years. Decorating their tree.
On both occasions – last year and this – we all sat around, once the tree was finished, admiring our handiwork and enjoying our Christmas tree with the lights, and tinsel and decorations – there was more noise this year because they all enjoy singing.
But I don’t think the tree has anything to do with that.
I actually think I love last years more. It’s a bit more “us”.
I often tell say you don’t need to spend a lot of money to have a lot of fun. My kids couldn’t give a hoot what the shape of our tree was, what they cared about is that we decorated it together; that there’s tinsel, lights, home-made decorations, sparkly stuff.
I care more about the shape and smell than they do!
Live your life.
Don’t try to match someone else’s expectations, or even your own from long ago. And your kids don’t need you to spend a lot of money to have a lot of fun!
This time of year is more about being present than giving presents, as much as that sounds like a cliche we hear over and over again, I am more and more convinced every single day of how important it is to be available to my kids and value quality time over quantity time.
This Christmas, remember your kids just want you – all the other stuff probably doesn’t really matter that much!
There is no “right” way to do Christmas.
There is no “right” way to do most things – there’s often your way, their way, my way, his way, her way.
Some things we can do better or differently. Some things we get right, so we do them again.
There are many angles to look at the same scenario and every person will have a different point of motivation, a different driver, different interests.