I love that we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior. I love Christmas lights, trees, smells, and decorations. I love the magic of Christmas and the kindness it brings to many, otherwise, cold hearts. The sweet togetherness of baking Christmas cookies (especially our traditional Springerle–recipe below), taking my children to see Santa, and seeing family I don’t normally get to see. I love all of those things. The one thing the nearly ruins all of those amazing, fun, beautiful things for me is…….STUFF. In other words, presents. Bear with me here…
Growing up, our Christmas mornings were full of necessities and a few toys here and there. I always loved the surprise of it all. Anymore, we see photos of everyone’s tree on Christmas Eve and it is OVERFLOWING with gifts and bags. When is enough, ENOUGH? I am a practical person and all I see when my children rip open a new package is (most likely) something that they are going to toss aside and be donated/thrown away in the coming months–because they don’t NEED it.
Problem: Enter, Sarah (a.k.a. the Christmas Grinch)…
Last year on Christmas morning, I reached my limit. I had two ungrateful little brats who said “Is that all???” and complained that they didn’t have anything to do after they just opened up several gifts each. I marched out to the garage, grabbed a big ol’ trash bag and started shoving it all in. Tears were shed and I felt like the worst mother on the planet. This was not how I envisioned Christmas morning in my head. I pictured children playing with their new toys and gadgets, eating snowman shaped pancakes, and smiles galore. It was happening. I had spoiled, entitled brats on my hands. Who allowed this to happen? I created them and have shaped them into who they are. (FYI: they slowly started to earn their gifts back—I’m not THAT mean….)
How am I supposed to make sure that we don’t have a repeat of last year, this year?! Minimal gifts. We are getting the kids two big gifts to share, some essentials, and a couple fun things. That’s it. You won’t be seeing images of an overflowing tree in our house this year. What I am going to do, is shower my children with love and affection Christmas morning and be sure that they know why Christmas even exists.
Please tell me I am not alone. SOMEONE else out there has to feel this way. I can’t say that I’m a minimalist, because I do have my share of “junk”, but I feel like the industry that generates billions of dollars in profits off of people buying Christmas gifts, just to buy something, is the only winner here. How on earth can I get people to open their eyes and see that CHRISTMAS IS A BUSINESS? Quit going into credit card debt for the next 6 months, just to see your kid excited for 5 seconds. Trust me, the stress and crabbiness you are going to feel after the financial hit of the holidays is going to negate any cheer had on Christmas morning.
Until the next nap time,
Sarah Deatherage Steele
I am a Mom of 3, re-married widow, dental hygienist, fresh food snob, grief supporter for widows, and the creator of Comforting Keepsakes Sympathy Gifts. My husband, AJ and I hand make and finish every detail of our Memory Boxes, in our garage! I love my family and friends, second chances, exploring new places, and of course food!
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You can use a “special” springerle rolling pin, found here http://a.co/d/1hct6xd on amazon, or any rolling pin/cookie mold. Use the special rolling pin before letting them sit overnight and most importantly, don’t over cook them!