Christmas did not begin as a commercialized holiday, but you would probably agree that it has become one. We can emphasize the spirit of Christmas to our children by giving gifts that we make, and encourage them to make gifts for others. The planning that goes into the gifts is half the fun. It’s fun to see my five year old granddaughter, Calyn, enjoying the bright pink scarf I knitted for her last year. Now I am busily working on a turquoise colored one for little sister, Camdyn. I also decided last month to use fabrics from my stash and make Christmas pillows for the kids. I just about have them finished and am pleased with the results.
The list of gifts that can be made is practically endless. Food gifts, such as cookies, nut breads, homemade candies, or spiced nuts are always welcome. Do make sure that if the people you are giving food gifts to are on a special diet that you make healthy holiday treats to share.
If the person on your gift list appears to have everything they need, consider giving a certificate promising to do a task for the person that they would enjoy receiving. This could include washing the car for Dad, washing windows for Mom, or baking someone’s favorite dish. Be creative with your gifts and watch for the pleased expressions on Christmas day.
To help you get through the holidays consider adopting the motto, “Plan your work and work your plan.” As simple as it sounds, it really does help to have a plan. With the holidays just two weeks away, you may find that the following “Murphy’s Holiday Laws” are in effect. Read on for a chuckle or two.
1) The time it takes to find a parking place is inversely proportional to the amount of time you have to spend.
2) The more expensive a breakable gift is, the better your chances of dropping it.
3) The other line always moves faster.
4) Unassembled toys will have twice as many screws as you expect, and some will always be left over.
5) Interchangeable parts won’t be.
6) All children have built-in detection devices when it comes to finding the Christmas gifts you have so cleverly hidden.
7) Amnesia strikes all family members when the tape and scissors cannot be found.
8) When a broken toy is demonstrated for the store manager, it works perfectly.
9) When you need cash fast, the automatic teller isn’t.
10) “Quantities are limited” is always written in fine print.
One important consideration to help your family through the holidays is to discuss realistic gift expectations with your spouse and children. Talk openly about how much money can be spent, and stick to your budget. Overspending causes stress now and in the months following Christmas when the credit card bills start coming in.
Simplify your holidays and you will be celebrating them for the right reasons.
Donna Krug is the Family & Consumer Science Agent with K-State Research & Extension – Barton County. You may reach her at (620)793-1910 or firstname.lastname@example.org