The youngest, opening his first Christmas present
The hazardous snowy conditions, combined with precarious economic situations, remarkably altered the tone of our family’s holiday celebrations this year. There were fewer gifts and more hugs. There was more caring, more homemade food, more focus on the children and more emphasis on good conversation.
The snow brought us all together, as we phoned each other all morning trying to figure out whether each of us could make it, and who was picking up whom to minimize cars on the perilous roads. When we finally made it, the Frangelico-infused coffee warmed our tummies as we watched the snow fall from the skies and coat the earth. All of the food served was homemade. All of the gifts given were filled with extra thought and care.
One of my relatives only had $200 for gifts this year, so she gave half to each of her two favorite local charities, saying, “we’re all so lucky that we have everything we need.” My grandfather, who often gives each person in the family a check for Christmas, kept most of his money in his dwindling investments this year and instead gave a bit of cash to each of the youngest kids for their savings accounts.
There was far less wrapping paper and plastic wrap in the trash this year. Because there were fewer gifts, but also because my mom wrapped each gift she gave in a reusable grocery bag. Matt and I wrapped in reused paper and cloth bags – or we didn’t wrap at all.
We kept most of our traditions, but sometimes they were switched a bit due to the snow. For instance, we didn’t gather on Christmas Eve because the roads were too icy – so we read ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas on Christmas night, with my sister and her husband participating via speaker phone. But these switches actually made the holiday even more meaningful.
These are difficult economic times for many of us, and the snow made our streets unsafe, but there sure were some wonderful side effects to both of these elements this holiday season. Did you have a similar experience?
How Was Your Holiday Celebration Different This Year?
Were there fewer gifts, more hand- or home-made? Was there a greater sense of togetherness?