The extended Christmas season has grown steadily more materialistic over the decades, driven largely by commercial exploitation and slowly rising wealth among all economic classes. Still, it’s never too late to return to the basic human connections that give the holidays their meaning. Your family likely will find truer happiness through these five ways to take the crassness out of the year’s best-known celebration.
How to Make the Holidays Less Materialistic
Invite Warm-Hearted Participation
Thoughtfully chosen gifts, whether commercially produced or made by hand, show that you cared enough about the individual recipients to put a significant effort into your choices. You can sweep up your family into a babble of conversation and smiling secrets over what would be the best gift for each family member and for friends and perhaps business associates. Even a giant cookie with a gentle message of hope written in frosting could be a wonderful gift indeed.
More simple ideas include customized fragrances, favored hobby supplies and personalized calendars that commemorate personal triumphs and happy moments. A curated DVD or USB thumb drive with videos and still pictures of family highlights can be a great memento for faraway relatives! The possibilities are limited only by the imagination.
Observe the Oldest Traditions
Holiday traditions carry their own power and dignity. There’s absolutely nothing hokey or outdated about hanging a Christmas wreath on the outside of your front door to greet visitors. The sort of garish display of hundreds of flashing lights and lighted statues exhibited by especially enthusiastic neighbors needn’t call for a similar response at your own home, but a few tasteful Christmas lights and other simple holiday accouterments are always beautiful and appreciated.
Furthermore, sending out a bevy of greeting cards to valued friends has always been a straightforward way to show appreciation for their friendship, and family members always appreciate yet another reminder of love. A brief handwritten greeting message will suffice for each card, nor is it necessary to add more than that. Small children likely will adore being asked to help brighten up plain greeting cards by gluing sparkles and other adornments onto them.
Play Cheery Family Games
Playing games around the fires of night has a history that stretches back beyond memory, and the flash and glitter of modern times have brought the arts of game-playing to increasingly dizzying heights. Old-fashioned Christmas party games still have their place, though. A silly round of “two truths and a lie” will leave players laughing and ready for more family activities, and children will have fun with decorating a fortunate victim as a mobile Christmas tree with artfully placed strands of tinsel and small, edible treats.
Seek Memorable Experiences
Rather than limiting yourself to material belongings, you can plan for outstanding experiences that will forever define the Christmas spirit for your family. A luxurious camping trip to a national forest with terrific food and other amenities could live in memory far longer than the latest video game or fad toy. Depending on personal tastes, attending a famed dance performance or an upcoming sports event could be just the ticket for a marvelous Christmas. Even a simple picnic at the local city park can easily grow into a yearly tradition.
Decorate Your Christmas Tree
A craft project with well-chosen tools and fun supplies brings together family members of all ages. Needless to say, no end-of-year holiday season is complete without successfully draping your Christmas tree with decorations. A ribbon Christmas tree will almost quiver with delight under a soft coating of multicolored, reusable ribbons that span the thematic spectrum. Dragooning children into helping bring a visiting tree into the Christmas spirit will almost certainly produce one of the eagerest armies ever assembled. Encouraging individual touches made on the fly from household hobby supplies will add to a holiday mood that fully embraces the human spirit. Classic woodworking, custom clothing, 3D printing projects and other creative ideas abound for all ages. For that matter, nothing makes Santa Claus smile quite as much as DIY Christmas stockings hanging near the cookies and milk set aside on a small table for jolly visitors.
Guest blog by Lindsay Olsen
How have you made your family’s holiday season less materialistic? Share with us in the comments below!
Want more useful tips like this?
Subscribe and get my FREE e-Book!
The Top 10 Most Popular Posts from the Past Year
Get simple tips & tricks to better manage your home including real food recipes, kids & family fun, thrifty living, natural living, hacks for your home and more!