Last night I sat on my couch and stared at the beautiful tree I decorated with my family, the lights that shined so bright and the big star on top that completed the tree…It took me back to my childhood.
That moment when I helped my parents decorate the Christmas tree.
That moment when I sat on my father’s lap to watch a movie together.
I didn’t realize that it would be my last Christmas with him, but it was. I can’t even remember the gifts he bought me, but I do remember the time we spent together and the food we shared.
My heart cries, I wish I could have one more Christmas with him… Just to say goodbye. To hug him one more time and tell him how much I love him but I don’t…
All I have is memories…
I don’t want you to feel the way I do today.
It is hard to say this but one day, it will be your last Christmas. How do you want your child to remember it?
Sometimes we try to substitute time with toys, I know how you feel. I feel the same. Being with your kids 24/7 can make you feel suffocated but during this time of the year, it is important to spend all the time we have.
Every year we sit our children down and ask them what they want for Christmas but honestly we should be asking them what they want to do on Christmas day or where they would like to go on holiday.
Traditions make the holidays special, not gifts.
Many of us forget the real meaning behind Christmas because it has become such a commercialized holiday. We end up feeling obligated to spend money even when we can’t afford too…
But Mom, does your child really need more toys?
I admit, I wanted to buy my kids more toys too, but I didn’t because I couldn’t afford too.
The only thing I bought my daughter was dolls for her “Night before Christmas” box. A tradition I am starting this year.
At first, it hurt me, I was disappointed because I felt like I wouldn’t be able to create a smile on my daughter’s face this Christmas, but it made me think.
What did I remember about the holidays?
I remember the night before Christmas when my mom took me to see the Christmas lights.
I remember the day when my mom spent her last cent to buy me Christmas lunch.
I remember the late night laughs with family and friends around the Christmas tree.
I remember the early mornings on Christmas day getting ready with cousins to celebrate the birth of Jesus in Church.
I don’t remember the gifts I received, but I remember the joy created. The love. The smiles. The hugs.
This Christmas Eve, keep your phones away. Make a big bowl of popcorn and watch “Elf” the movie with your kids. Hug, Laugh, and Eat till your heart is content.
This Christmas, unplug the TV. Cook. Bake. Dance. Cuddle. And have lunch together as a family at the table. Be thankful and grateful for what you have.
Teach your kids the meaning of Christmas and be generous to someone in need.
Kids will want to open up a present on Christmas day but instead of spending thousands of rands on one gift, split that money. Buy a cheaper gift for your child and take your child to buy something for someone in need. Maybe a meal for the man on the street.
Let them know the reality and how not everyone gets “gifts” during holidays.
In the years to come kids may forget the toys that you bought for them but they will never forget the memories that you created by spending time with them.
I am working throughout December but this week I will be scheduling everything on the blog so I won’t have to work on Christmas eve and Christmas day because honestly I want to pause this week and spend as much time as I can with my family.
I want to cook with my mom and cousins.
I want to dance with my husband.
I want to play hide and seek with my daughter.
AND I want to tickle my son and see him smile… because the best gifts are not bought with money but it is created with the people you love.
Wishing you a blessed festive season.
Love Shan and Family.