Crap-Free Christmas Wrap Up - Jumping off the Crazy Train

Shiny Brites from Oodles and Oodles
Looking for the Pashima and gift Certificate  drawing winner? look HERE

Well..what did you think? .. It was a week of crap-free ideas to hopefully make your gift giving a bit easier without making your wallet much lighter or your house more filled with crap.

Today I thought I would wrap up with a list of resources, tips and tricks for jumping off the holiday crazy train. As I mentioned yesterday it takes a bit of spunk to fly in the face of the highly consumeristic nature of the current holiday and do your own smaller and more personal thing, but it is possible.

First off -some books ( check your library!)

The 100 dollar Holiday - With the though bestowed by the Grinch himself.. " That Christmas came from no store" the author asks us to rethink our  holiday agenda while getting our families and kids in on the act. - This book is a great little read.. and dare I say it.. it might make a good gift  (Diane, here is an idea for you!) for those relatives that you can't quite make understand why you would want to jump off the crazy train.

Unplug the Christmas Machine   This book is great for parents wanting the make the leap and intend on taking their kids with them. This can be huge.. a bit scary but the payoff is everlasting. This book has been around since 91. Things have gotten no better in those years and the advice still holds.

Next- some advice

Only hang out with people who support your new way of thinking. Don't "do" your holiday with those who are out to undermine you and yours - stick to your guns!

If dialing it back on the gifts dial it up on the experiences and memories and traditions new and old.

Be prepared for a bumpy year- all new things take time to get used to, people can and will make the transition.  Rest in the comfort that you will not owe big bills come January and that life will go on if your kid does not get EVERY Harry Potter action figure- they will survive.

Live by example-  Don't go getting yourself or your husband/ partner some huge bad-ass gift for the holiday, be simple. My husband I only exchange "stocking gifts".. simple heartfelt items that can fit in a stocking, for years our limit was $20 each.. I will admit our limit is now $50 each.. but the thought it still the same.

Fun traditions to add to the mix

Like I said.. if you are  dialing back the gifts dial it up on the experiences. Here is a list of holiday experiences that I have gathered from friends and my own family.. feel free to steal them and add to your happy holiday home!

Making a thermos of really good hot chocolate, bundling up real warm, and driving around with the windows down looking at the pretty house lights. Key here I am told is the hot-choc and the windows down.. oh and holiday tunes on the radio.  Two favorites- first the kid's-

and mine...

Making holiday cookies - Ok.. this can be a pain if you get all Martha Stewart about it, but save that for another time and just let the kids make some freakin cookies ok?  Start off with some store  bought dough even and get creative. Great ideas here  and for making and decorating from premade dough look HERE

Make a Gingerbread House - my kids still love this- and my heartfelt hint to you is.. Set up the panels the night before ( alone), assemble the house and let it dry overnight, don't try it while 3 little people are begging to start glopping candy on. Oh and if you are the hyper controlling type, get a house for yourself and let your kids do theirs the way the want.. really.

Christmas Eve start doing something fun. Maybe new Pj's and board games till bed time?.. How about a new ornament for the tree. Reading out loud The Night Before Christmas or watching a classic holiday movie. Pick something and then do it.. then do it again next year.. unless it's a complete flop- uhh homemade snowglobes anyone?..geesh..never again!

Egg Nog French toast casserole for breakfast

Going to the movies together on Christmas afternoon

A simple dinner of warm and delish beef hash with a fried egg on top 

Sneaking up  and planting plastic candy canes in the yards of your friends and leaving a note that says... You have been elfed!

So there you go... the time is right... are you ready to jump?


Sherry said...

I've enjoyed this whole series Maddie. Great ideas and great advise about dialing up the experiences and memories. Really after the Harry Potter figures have lost their arm and hype, you still have the memories:)

Audrey Pettit said...

Really great tips, Maddie! Love the emphasis on creating memories and sharing special time together, versus the whole commercial aspect.

Nicole said...

One thing that we do that makes for some great memories: A treasure hunt. We hide the gift(s) and give out one card that gives directions to a location in the house. When he gets to that location, there will be another card there that will lead him to another, and so forth until he finds the gift. He's found that to be great fun for both Christmas and birthdays, and asks us to do this every couple of years :)