Monday, December 19, 2011

Wrapping with Mama

Growing up with 6 siblings, Christmas was a big deal.  Far from being indulged in every possible way, my parents sensibly saved up every opportunity to give to us for Christmas so that even receiving necessities felt like gift.  Need a new coat?  You got one for Christmas!  Winter boots?  Under the tree.  Socks and underwear and new toothbrushes?  Stocking stuffers.  We got fun things too, but the reason that Christmas felt so big to us all was that they strategically planned it that way.  Also because each of the 7 of us bought each sibling a present as well. 7x7 plus gifts from Mom and Dad.  Yes, it was big.

Initially, in celebrating Christmas with my own family, I shied away from big.  The thought of organizing such a big gift exchange was really a bit much for me, so when they were younger I got away with doing it all. Recently  I realized something unintended was happening:  Christmas was becoming more about getting (to them) than giving simply because giving was not a part of their Christmas experience.

This year, I've adopted Mom's strategy.  I didn't take each kid shopping or anything like that, but I have been taking each on aside, sneaking up to Mama's room, giving them a few gifts to wrap for siblings, and watching their joy and anticipation grow.  There have been some unexpected pleasures along the way - quiet moments spent with just one of my children at a time , talking and enjoying one another.  My husband is getting in on the fun by bring the children into his Christmas planning for me, giving them the opportunity to give their Mama  a gift.  The kids are sneaking around, full to the brim with Christmas secrets and you can positively see their eyes gleaming with the giddy joy of it all.

A beautiful Christmas tradition to begin, if I do say so myself.

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  1. This is lovely! I grew up with five siblings and Christmas was very similar in our home! I have been pondering how to make this holiday a little bit more like giving than getting and it sounds like you have handles it beautifully xx

  2. Love this! Anticipation of giving joy to another is one of the best gifts to pass on to your children.


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