We are busy. busy with preparations for Thanksgiving but I know many of you will want to start celebrating Christmas on Friday. I try to wait as long as possible because it can all be so distracting for us... especially when teachers are still sending homework home. But for those of you with smaller children here are a few thoughts.
1) Hide all advertisements and stop watching (or at least limit) TV. Nothing spoils the giving mood more than greed, and nothing yells greed more than commercials and sale ads.
2) Keep it simple. Toddlers only need 2-3 presents to be happy. Don't waste your money on toys that will only bore your kids in 2 hours. Give them craft supplies and interesting paper. One of our "successful" gifts included really cool graph paper and markers.
3) Keep it kid friendly... Don't bring out the pretty manger scene and décor until you are sure the kids won't break them. When our son started walking and reaching we were in a very small apartment on campus. We were creative and we opted for a tabletop tree and a kid friendly (and welcoming) manger scene... Now that he's older, we bring out the ceramic manger.
4) Read more books. Libraries usually offer a special section for Christmas books. Ebay has great prices on slightly used books as well. I pull ours down from the top shelf in December and have them in reach for him to read and look through. Libraries also have CD's of Christmas music and carols. I try to buy a new CD every year because I have learned that the radio will stop playing Christmas music on December 26th, but we celebrate till January 6th with Theophany. We have a nice collection so far.
That's it for now. Thanksgiving preparations are still tugging for my attention and we have company coming. I will add more as the season continues... Till then, stay hydrated and prayerful.