Sunday, December 25, 2016

A better Christmas for 2016

The year 2016 has certainly been a challenge. There have been so many ups and downs this year. But I am grateful that at least ONE thing went right this year: My quest to ensure that my kids had a better Christmas gift experience compared to last year.

Last year, three days before Christmas, we ran into a financial hurdle that took all the money we had set aside to buy our kids Christmas presents. I blogged about that here. I also blogged about our “Christmas miracle” that happened as a result of it. Thanks to that miracle, we had some extra gifts to give to the kids for Christmas last year – instead of just the one I had already gotten for them. Here is the pic of our tree with the extra gifts:

I am extremely grateful to the people who helped us give our kids a nice Christmas last year, but even so, I had vowed to take matters into my own hands this year, and that’s exactly what I did. And I am happy that I was able to pull it off, too!

So what did I do? I shopped for my kids’ Christmas gifts all year long. My strategy was to buy each of them a Christmas gift for every month of the year, and it worked! (I will share that experience in a blog post real soon.) This morning, my kids opened their 12 Christmas presents. Yep, they had twelve. One gift for every month of the year. Yay! We did it! Woo-hoo!

Here is the picture of our tree with this year’s gifts – as well as extra gifts by the stockings! There are also other gifts we received from friends and family.

I am just so happy that I was able to do that sort of thing for them this year. I am not sure if this will be “our thing” now. I need to think more on that.

The reason why I am not sure if I want to do this again is because I don’t want my kids to think that Christmas is all about gifts or even having lots of gifts. Mostly, I want them to see Christmas as a time of gathering with your family and loved ones and sharing the joy of the holiday season. Christmas is a time for giving, sharing the joy of being with the people you love, and helping those who are less fortunate. I don’t want my kids to be materialistic or expect lots of presents every single Christmas. So I have to think more on this before doing it again.

Also, I would rather give them EXPERIENCES instead of gifts. Like taking them somewhere fun or doing something special together. I want to give my kids memories, not stuff.

So we’ll see what happens. Maybe when Jesse is a little older he will appreciate Christmas experiences more than Christmas gifts.

We had a really nice Christmas Eve yesterday and also a very nice Christmas morning today. As usual, I was the first one awake this morning. I spent the quiet time taking pictures, enjoying my coffee and playing a game on my phone. I also logged in at Facebook to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. Then Jesse woke up and he woke up his dad and Jennifer. With A Christmas Story on TV and both adults armed with coffee, it was time for all of us to open our gifts. Yep, we went right to the gifts instead of the stockings! LOL It was Jen’s turn to be Santa this year so she wore the Santa hat. There was much surprise and excitement over the gifts as everybody opened them. One of the things Jen got was a Supernatural Funko POP Sam and Dean action figure. Originally, I was just going to get her Sam, but then I realized that the brothers need to be together, so I got her Dean as well. She held up the box containing Sam and said, “I got a Sam!” Jesse got the Impala car model. When Jen saw that, her face lit up and she said, “You got the Impala!” Jen also got the movie Thirteen Ghosts and she was REALLY happy about that. She said she’s been asking for it for years! Well, I’m glad we finally got it for her. One of the things Jesse got was art supplies and he opened the paint set and painted a couple of pictures. The one at the top of this post is one of the pictures he painted. Jen was also happy with the sketchbook she got and Jesse immediately threw on his new Spiderman PJs. He has been spending the day playing with all of his Christmas presents.  Both kids were really happy with all of their gifts.

As for me, there was a BIG box wrapped and I was hoping it was a new printer. And it was! Yay! Here is a pic of me with that big wrapped box:

I also got a snow globe, candle with a Christmas tree scent, Amazon gift card, a puppet craft that Jesse made for me, a T-shirt and a stress toy.

I LOVE the T-shirt! It was a gift that Jen got me. Here is a pic of it:
Ah, she knows me so well. LOL I don’t like drama!

After all the gifts, I made breakfast. It was cinnamon rolls, bacon, and, for me and my husband, eggs in a basket. We all sat at the table enjoying our Christmas breakfast and it was a really nice time.

Then some of us went back to sleep! LOL Jesse was awake, of course, to play with all his new toys. I guess he was too excited to sleep because he also got a new bike.

Christmas this year was just awesome. It has been a really great day and I am glad we were able to give the kids stuff they wanted for Christmas this year. Of course, I had been a little sad because I missed my parents and was thinking about them a lot. (I have been thinking about them quite a bit lately.) I am glad I was able to survive the holidays without an emotional breakdown like I had that one year when I just cried for days when Christmas after my mother’s death came around. This year was better. I was even strong enough this year to do the cookie run! Still, I was thinking about both of my parents a lot and missing them. But I am sure they were there for all of us in spirit on Christmas Day.  

No comments: