I love Christmas.
Let’s be honest–I wait for it ALL year. By October I’m so excited that I count down the days until I allow myself to listen to Christmasy music. If I had my way (and the space to store everything) my house would be decked out from top to bottom in all things Christmas for the entire month of December.
My family has all kinds of traditions that, for the most part, I love. I love that my Dad reads the Christmas story to us every Christmas Eve. I love that we sing carols. I love that we eat until we all have to lie down and pass out on the floor. I love the Uno tournaments. I love the baking. Basically, I love the family time.
Because my family is so large, for the past several years we’ve been drawing names rather than buying for everyone. While initially it made more economic sense, the amount we’ve been spending on our person has increased each year to the point where it really isn’t saving anymore. I felt like it was more about just trying to spend the full amount by picking things off “The List” we each gave out each year… and it has been less and less fun.
So, in September of this year we all sat down and had a family pow-wow. The season has become increasingly chaotic as we try and cram in new things every passing year. This year, my parents have decided to simplify things, and I am SO excited. Instead of house hopping between our extended family’s homes, we’re going to stay in, eat ridiculous amounts of delicious food, play games, watch movies and just be together.
In the midst of our discussion, the topic of gifts came up. Some of my siblings just wanted to keep drawing names but up the price limit, while, if I had my way, we wouldn’t do gifts at all. I’d much rather pool all our money in and do something cool.
Peeah, who is a Christmas freak like me (it’s genetic. Spart has it too. Blame mom. haha) came up with our solution: no more lists. No more drawing names. No more price limits.
We’re going old-school, like when we were kids. We’re all going to buy for everyone, but keep it simple and small–the gifts can be homemade if we feel so inspired. The point is to actually put some thought into the gifts, and give something that we think that person would love. It shouldn’t be expensive, but it should be thoughtful.
Best. idea. ever.
I wasn’t sure if I’d enjoy the stress of having to buy for 10 family members (and three significant members that we adore like family) but this is the most fun I’ve had in years. Rather than stressing about trying to find the exact thing off someone’s list, I just go out, peruse through stores and when I see something, I buy it. I’ve become an expert thrift shopper and I’ve found some amazing deals for a few of my brothers and sisters.
(Did I mention that I bought Gap jeans for $5 last week? And that the tags were still on them? Yup. I’m THAT good.)
I wish I could tell you what I’ve bought, but sadly, you’ll have to wait. I already have most of them wrapped and ready to go, and I only have three people left to buy for.
I just feel like this is how Christmas is supposed to be. It feels glorious, magical and a little bit sneaky.