Every year about this time, I make a point to ask my kids what one thing that we can make or do that really will make Christmas feel like for Christmas for them. Are there any certain meals or cookies or activities that they remember doing growing up that means Christmas to them? Things that make Christmas special…things that they look forward to every year. I am always amazed by the simplicity of their answers.
It’s not about the years that they received extravagant presents. It’s not about fancy Christmas parties or new outfits. It’s not about the video games that I spent hours in line for on Black Friday.
Their answers always surprise me. Harvesting our tree from the National Forest. Making peanut butter cookies with kisses in them. Wearing elf hats. Cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning.
Seriously, why do we spend so much time, energy and money on this holiday? The things that mean the most to our families and our children…time together…really, is abundant and free.
When I was growing up, all of the teachers from the school my mom taught at would get together to cut down their Christmas trees from a tree farm. I remember after everyone selected their trees the kids would have hot chocolate and those little frosted animal crackers while we waited for the adults to tie the trees down on top of the station wagon. So for me, a big part of celebrating Christmas is having those pink and white animal crackers.
They remind me of friendship and family, simple traditions, and the gift of time.