This last day on the month is not my favorite. Halloween is not a holiday I like. Too much sugar consumed by my all ready hyper and overly excitable children. Halloween hecticness was and is in full swing: We had parties Friday, Saturday, Sunday, not to mention trick or treating and an additional church event tonight. Way too much stuff. My children are ,at the moment, blissfully unaware of the fact that we are ONLY going trick or treating tonight ( oh, poor deprived them right)?
Autumn is my favorite time of year, and Halloween day is to me that last day of fall. November seems kinda like a depressing month for me. I mean the first syllable is the word "NO".
Part of my melancholy outlook has to do with the simple truth that November, for me, marks the beginning of the:
what are we going to do for?/ how are we going to afford Christmas? mental whirlwind.
Don't worry I am no humbug. Not going to go on and on about all that is evil about the commercialism of the Christmas season.
I always have, and still love the Christmas season.
But the reality remains, and I know plagues many a middle-class family:
Christmas is bloody expensive and hectic
The following is my list of SPECIFIC ( no cliche vague warm fuzzy ideas like: Just keep it simple) Christmas strategies to make the Holy Season a lovely time to share with those I love.
Planning is everything: November 1st sit down with family and decide what is important to the family come Christmas. Discuss gift buying specifics
Less is More: Buy 3 nice presents for each of the kids ONLY :Think frankincense, gold, and myrrh
Stockings have only a little bit of candy, one book, one new DVD
Me and hubby exchange only one gift with each other
Start making, starting Nov. 1st, all those "extra" gifts you have to dole out to people you don't especially like or know, come December, like some perpeptual Santa. No running to the mall to buy some crappy candle, or gift card.
Do at least one outreach/volunteer activity. We always do "Operation Christmas Child" box through Franklin Graham's Samaritans Purse organization. Its a great way to think of "the least of these" during a consumer-laden season. A wonderful lesson for our children
Say "NO" to those things we cannot affort, or don't have time to do. Even if the kids cry and call you mean, or hubby says "But we do that every year". Things change get over it.
Read some Christmas literature; either short-stories or poems
Eat plenty of simply healthy food, along with all the fattening goodness
Watch The Christmas Story DVD, better know as "the Raphie movie" is our house
Read the first Christmas Story, found in Bible with the family