I personally feel having Santa in the holiday mix adds too much stress. One of the stress factors I am referring to is the number of parents who stress themselves each year about how to buy their children everything on their Christmas list. The economy still hasn’t fully recovered, and as a result there are still a lot of people out of work, including parents. It is so sad to see these parents stressed out and feel like failures when they can’t buy their kids everything they want for Christmas. This is why I think it is time to start a new tradition of making the holidays mean something more than just buying gifts.
If you are planning to put up a Christmas tree this year, let it be decorated with bulbs and lights made or purchased by family members. If you come from a small family, let your own kids select or make the tree decorations. On the other hand if you have a large family, let all family members select a decoration to go on the tree. For larger families, this tradition should start with the tree of the oldest family member.
After the tree has been decorated, take a photo of it and place it in a special holiday photo album. When the oldest family member passes away, let the next family member in line take over the tradition. Over time the photo album will be filled with memorable holiday pictures that focus on family creativity and togetherness instead of Santa Claus.
Another way to make holidays more fun and meaningful, is to have a special evening of desserts. This event should take place between Thanksgiving and Christmas. There are several ways you can do this. One way is to select one family member or friend’s home, and let everyone bring a special homemade dessert. The desserts should be displayed on a long buffet table, so they can be seen by all the guests before they are eaten. Each dessert should also include a table card that list the name of the dessert and who made it.
Another way to host this event is to have it at a different person’s house for five consecutive days. The first person could serve a variety of homemade oatmeal and peanut butter cookies, the second person could serve homemade vanilla cupcakes and fudge brownies, the third person could serve homemade fruit filled tarts, the fourth person could serve homemade holiday pies, and the fifth person could serve a variety of homemade sheet cakes. To make this gathering even more meaningful, all guests should be given a box of desserts to take home with them. This is a way to gather family and friends and take the stress out of the holidays.