Cathy, What is christmas like at your housegreenspun.com : LUSENET : Country Families : One Thread
Cathy, Im directing this question at you because Im so fasinated with your family,you all sound super. Are most of your gifts homemade? what kind of gifs do you get for the kids? Are the kids grateful or is it is this all there is? What are others Christmas mornings like?
-- Roxanne (Roxanne143@webtv.net), October 27, 2001
The electricity was off when we came home from church this morning and was off all afternoon; hence the delay in answering you.
I had to chuckle when I read the title of your post. I married a man who at the time of our marriage was totally against Christmas as being unbiblical. Our first December I was 700+ miles from "home" and pretty miserable, but I knew his beliefs going into the marriage and determined to make the best of things. The next year we went to my parents for Christmas and he experienced his first really Christian Christmas (he had been raised in a home immersed in drugs, alcohol, etc.). From then on, he has gradually come away from his anti-Christmas stance, although we still do not have a tree.
So to answer your question: We have a mix of homemade and bought presents. In recent years, we have had the children draw names among themselves. My parents send money every year, which we use for family type board games or magazine subscriptions. I try to make each child something, and Tom will buy one thing for each child. The children make or buy for each other, or give a toy/game they have outgrown. They have to use their own money, but we help with ideas or assistance if they are making something. We have tried never to have a lot of presents; usually just 3 or 4 per person. If we have listened to each other throughout the year, we usually know the one thing each wants most. One year, our oldest was so thrilled with the Battleship he had been begging for, that he scarcely gave his other gifts a passing glance. Another year, we pooled all the money from relatives and us and got a really nice swing set (this was when we lived in Texas; last year we got a tobaggan).
Surprisingly, the really big hit with our children is their stockings. They each get an assortment of candy, nuts, and maybe gum. Also a toothbrush, which they talk about months in advance (I need a new toothbrush, Mom; how long till Christmas?); a $2 coin (Canada has no paper money under $5); something cool to write with that I would normally be too cheap to buy for school; homemade slippers or mittens; some crayons or fabric paint or fancy markers (depends on age of child); and some little toy or doodad that I wrap and put in the stocking. Last year my older daughter got a diary with a lock, while my older boys got stuff for their stamp and coin collections. The small, wrapped gift is the only surprise, but the whole stocking is a major event. The rule is that you are not allowed to look in the stocking before 6 a.m., and you have to open your wrapped gift on mom's bed so that I get to see the look on their faces.
We have not usually gone anywhere in the last 5 or 6 years; just spent a quiet day at home with just us. Turkey dinner on the best china, and Tom and I clean up. Normally the children do all the kitchen cleanup, so they really enjoy their day off on Christmas.
That's it; everyone is pretty much content, but then they've never known any other type of Christmas. Before Tom's parents died, we would sometimes go there for Christmas when we lived close. Their style of opening gifts was rip it open, glance at it, and see what's next. Our children did not like that at all. They would get all excited about a present, thinking that was it, and want to play with it. But Granny would be taking it away so they could open something else.
-- Cathy N. (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 28, 2001.
Hi Cathy! The stocking thing sounds like our house! My kids say they don't care if they don't get anything else as long as they get their stockings!
Cale does love Christmas so cutting the tree is a BIG deal, and I mean big because he always finds the biggest one in the woods and tries to stuff it into our house. Makes for a lot of funny memories.
I think it is fun, no matter how you celebrate it as it brings the family together, and the kids love the excitement!
-- Melissa (email@example.com), October 29, 2001.