A SIMPLE HOLIDAY

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Our family celebrates both Hanukkah and Christmas, so you can imagine how easily things — by which I mean gifts — could get completely out of hand.

But the stores have now closed for Christmas, and with that, we have successfully resisted the siren song of consumer culture — of expensive electronics, little blue Tiffany’s boxes, battery-operated plastic toys, and gag gifts destined for the landfill.

There will be one present for Oliver: a special toy, handmade by a friend of mine. One present for both holidays.

The money we’d have otherwise spent on each other went towards purchasing several grocery store gift cards for needy families. Because  no child in such a wealthy country should ever go hungry, least of all at this time of year.

On Christmas morning, Oliver won’t wake up to a pile of brightly-wrapped presents under a tree, but he’ll wake to a loving family and a safe home, which he will one day understand to be more important than all of the expensive presents in the world. We’ll spend the day visiting with friends, Skype-ing with our out-of-town families, and slow cooking a delicious prime rib roast for supper. On Boxing Day, instead of queuing up to buy steeply discounted stuff we don’t need, we’ll enjoy a quiet day of snowshoeing on the mountains.

We have each other. We have a roof over our heads. We have food on our plates and clothes on our backs. We live in a beautiful, safe city in one of the best countries in the world. What more could we possibly ask for?

What are you thankful for this holiday season?

5 responses to “A SIMPLE HOLIDAY

  1. Sounds very similar to our plans! For a variety of reasons, we’ve decided to scale back significantly (not just this year … permanently). H has a stocking, and I’m going to put a few of her favorite plush toys inside for her to take out. She’ll love that. But we didn’t get her a gift, and we didn’t get gifts for each other. We don’t have a tree, and we’re just spending a quiet evening at home. Tomorrow, we’re having another couple over for a dinner (pan-seared steak and Brussels sprouts). I’m enjoying it, a lot! Merry Christmas to the three of you!

  2. 🙂 I am sure you will enjoy celebrating just as much, or more so, than a gift filled Christmas and Hannukah.
    Last year we had an almost gift-less Christmas. We went away and just got our son who was 2 at the time one small gift. It was a great day.
    We’re did more this year but on a small scale compared to family and peers. Our son got some second hand pieces for his train set from Santa, we all got stockings with a few nice and useful items (great chocolates, a magazine, special tea in our favourite flavours) and my husband and I exchanged gifts. I will admit he spoiled me: a Garmin watch and a new regular watch (my last one bit the dust a few years ago).
    Still, it was a quiet Christmas. We made a great meal, played a board game with my sister who is visiting and went on a nice walk Christmas day.
    We set aside money each month for charitable giving and did a large donation earlier in the month to a local organization that supports families in crisis. The families currently using the service were given gifts (we asked what the kids would like and parents were able to give them gifts themselves), money for groceries and we made a donation to the organization. Bonus: my husband’s employer has an employee charity match program so they doubled our donation. It was a great way to start the holiday season.
    Hope you had a fantastic day, C! Happy Hannukah and Merry Christmas!

  3. We toned it down this Christmas too. I made my son a stuffed animal and he couldn’t have been happier. You should have seen him dance with joy when he saw it! We even talked to my in-laws about buying less and I think next Christmas wont be as gift oriented and we’re all happy with that arrangement. Next up…Happy New Year!

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