Christmas in a large family, is fun, loud, and can be done within the limits of a budget. One of the things that we did was to start traditions that the children look forward to, so that it is not all about will we get as gifts.
We start off our season by the attending our town’s winter parade, then we find time to head out for a tree. We get our tree from a local place that is great experience, you head out to chop down your tree and then your picture is taken and have hot coco and cookies before heading home. We fill the month with Christmas plays, caroling , baking cookies, and making crafts.
On Christmas Eve after church service we come home and have ice cream sundeas with all the different toppings and each child opens a pair of new pj’s, and we have a new family movie to watch that night. Then on Christmas since we are home all day we have a PJ day, yes we eat our Christmas Dinner in our PJ’s something that the kids think is funny. We use the nice dishes, and have a wonderful dinner while wearing our pj’s. I do ask that they at least brush their teeth and hair.
And what about presents, we have a plan that we try to follow. When the children were younger and we as parents had yet to learn some important lessons we went overboard. Our budget suffered, my housekeeping suffered (If each kid had 10 gifts that was 50 new things to care for), and the children had a bad case of the gimmies. Our plan after learning these lessons is one gift from daddy ( which is the big gift) sometimes it is a toy, usually something useful . In the past it has been cd-players, new bedding, something that we have noticed that the children need, that costs more than the 15 dollar birthday limit.
Then there is the gift from mommy usually something I have made them, or sometimes a fun toy that I am willing to live with. And then there is there box of books, we have a penguin book warehouse sale that I get books for pennies on the dollar each November. The kids also have a stocking that has small gifts that I have bought though out the year.
This plan keeps me from over buying, the house from overflowing, and the children enjoy the season.