O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree, How faithful are thy branches...
Sweet Christmastime, I really really love you.
It's the feeling of the holidays.
Helping out one another.
Football games in the snow.
The jingling of the bells from outside the store.
Christmas music and movies.
Laughing with family.
Somebody getting drunk and inappropriate at family Christmas parties.
I freaking really love thee.
It brings up a debate that we've had in our family...
Gifts or experiences?
Do you give gifts to your children for Christmas, prefer experiences together or find a combination of both is best?
Well, answer the question already ;)
We're a bit split in this house.
My husband is more on the gift side, while I'm stubbornly and proudly sitting on the experience side.
We will remember fun times with people, not a sweater, iPad, shoes, legos, or anything else, right?
My whole take on life is experience-based.
I want to do the stuff.
I suppose I also want to have some stuff.
Welcome to my personal therapy lesson ;)
Growing up, my grandma (she's adorable af) took our family to see a play every Christmas.
We'd get all dressed up and meet somewhere fancy, all the girls in our family.
I looked forward to it every year.
We all did.
We would go out to lunch, catching up on each others busy lives and spend the couple of hours reconnecting.
After that we'd venture into Chicago or a nearby suburb and file in the theater for a play.
Usually it was the Nutcracker which was always a hit for myself and my inappropriate sisters.
Can you say men in tights?
I can't imagine erasing those 20 or so plays we went to and all that time spent in each others company.
My memory is filled with family Christmas memories.
My grandma would get us an ornament and a used book to open at the Christmas party.
I loved that tradition, all of it.
Would our family be as close? Maybe.
Would I still want to try and convince my adorable grandma that she needs to be my neighbor? Maybe.
Would we remember Christmas as a happy time to connect, laugh, and be together? Maybe.
Who really knows though?
Now I'm in my mid-thirties and I've got a family of my own.
Generally, each Christmas we try to take a trip or do something really special together.
Even if it's little things in our area.
But 2 Christmas' ago, we didn't do the trip and opted for gifts instead.
The kids woke up eagerly knowing they were in for a shower or gifts.
The tree looked beautiful the night before and I was exhausted putting the finishing touches on their gifts.
Everybody woke up on fumes after staying up late and waking up so excitedly hours before I'd hoped they would be awake.
I was a Grinch on Christmas.
It didn't feel right.
The kids ripped all their presents open and proceeded to fight.
In minutes everything was opened and the room was trashed.
It wasn't the mess that bothered me, it was their behavior.
I know I was a total shit as a kid and probably was worse than them.
But this is about them not me now isn't it? 🤣
I didn't like that they acted so unappreciative.
They savaged through it like you got anything else?
It's not the kids' fault.
I think we could've had some better conversations leading up to it.
It was supposed to be a great memorable day and it wasn't feeling that way at all.
I proceeded to threaten everybody to take away their toys and pour heavier mimosas for my husband and me.
We were recently having a conversation about this years Christmas and what we want to do.
I don't think we'll be going on a trip, but we both agreed on looking up fun activities in the area to plan ahead.
These little monsters will be sunk deep in our love and affection this Christmas.
I'm not saying we don't buy any toys or that it's wrong by any stretch.
We do generally buy each person 2 gifts.
One thing they want and one thing they need (within reason).
We haven't bought the Lamborghini that's been on my sons Christmas list yet and it's been in the 'need' column for 4 years.
Carryon my son.
I think it's been the perfect balance for our family, but it took some time to figure out what's right.
I don't think the kids need much.
Time and experience in my opinion far surpass anything else.
Not to mention they get to be reminded of just how cool their parents are.
Did somebody say Macarena?
Christmas isn't one size fits all.
I think you've gotta feel it out for yourself and your crew and do what makes the most sense.
I never restrict others from getting my kids gifts. I know that's some peoples love language and way of saying HEY KID I REALLY THINK YOU'RE PRETTY SPECIAL.
Have at it.
If my kids ever run away they'll be heading to any one of their gift-giving relatives houses.
You just watch.
So gift-giving or experience?
What does your family focus on for Christmas and why?
Let's hear it.