When I was young, I was a big fan of Christmas. I still am - I just love some aspects differently now, and there are some aspects I could pass on altogether. Perhaps it's a sign of growing up. Perhaps it's a sign of values that have shifted over the years. Perhaps it is just a sign of time management!
My mind has been on Christmas a lot already! Each year, as we allow ourselves to follow our intuition a little more and mindfully consider of the kinds of experiences we want to leave with the young ones in our lives, I spend much time contemplating the list of presents for nieces, nephews, and our own little ones. Lists of things I'm capable of making for them and that they might find useful. Lists of suggestions for others who show their affection for our children by placing an item under the tree for them. And separate lists to help those loved ones avoid duplicates, as those wish lists tend to be quite short.
Every year, we are delicately dancing through the holiday season, trying to ensure balance. We want our kids to feel in their hearts and souls how special the winter holidays are. We feel the desire to show them how much we love them with thoughtfully selected gifts. We want to maintain those activities or treats that the children look forward to. On the flip side, we are also keenly aware that the season is also about togetherness and not just stuff. Looking back on Christmases past, my husband and I each fondly and vividly remember the events and not so much the tangible stuff.
So today, I attempted to get organized. I put together a chart listing who will be getting what and from whom. It's nothing fancy - just pencil put to a piece of paper from our recycling bin. It includes everyone - parents, grandparents, nieces, nephews, brothers, in-laws, gift exchanges - everyone. I've noted what needs to be made and what needs to be purchased. It allows me to see a few things. One, whether we've hit what feels right in the "balance" department. Two, it helps me make sure I only order one time from our favorite online stores. Third, it makes me very aware that I'd better get started!