We’re not always consistent in our Christmas gift giving. Because we don’t pay for gifts on credit, each year is different. Last year we told our kids to be prepared for a slim Christmas, but they thought it was one of the best.


When there’s less to spend, every dollar counts. Shopping becomes smarter. More intentional.

Celebrating Christmas properly involves more than what’s under the tree. One of the greatest things you can do now—or any time of year—is build traditions, the cement of family memories.

Ours include:

  • Christmas chili (because I can only wake up before dawn and cook a 20+ pound turkey one day of the year)
  • The kids open a movie for an early gift at bedtime on Christmas Eve, and watch it on Christmas morning before getting us out of bed (sly, aren’t we?)
  • Life Savers Sweet Story Books in the stockings (Santa always brought them to my sister and I, too)
  • Cheese Spaghetti (worthy of Thanksgiving and Christmas)
  • Christmas day outing (sometimes we go to the movies; last year it was bowling)

New traditions or things we do some years:

Sometimes I’m guilty of losing myself in the flurry of the season, and fail to ensure that we remember just what—or rather who—it is we’re celebrating.

What Christmas traditions does your family keep?

[In case you were wondering: I shot a senior yearbook photo Friday morning, and my 11-year-old daughter insisted that our dog have a Christmas photo shoot on the white seamless, too. Cute, huh?]


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