Christmas traditions

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Last week I banged on about Christmas being more than just mere presents. On Christmas eve, as we were wrapping, Mr Banya and I had lots of discussions about what this actually means for our family.

Mr Banya believes that, for our family, there should be only one main present from Santa for each person under tree on Christmas morning. To expect more is self-important. After all Santa does have to get a present for every nice boy and girl around the whole world…

And there should be a time separation between presents from Santa and presents from family members. Presents from Santa will be under the tree as they wake up first thing in the morning. Presents from/to family members will be exchanged a little later in the day, perhaps over morning tea.

Each member of our family will get one present for each other member, but that present will be something intentional, something that person wouldn’t buy otherwise. So no pairs of undies for Christmas. If someone needs regular clothes around Christmas time, they’ll be bought and given as usual. They won’t be wrapped up and called a Christmas present for the sake of having extra presents on Christmas morning.

I  think this all makes present giving more meaningful. The idea being, that at the end of the day, everyone knows what they got and from whom, rather than just listing off a pile of presents.

I also believe in creating Christmas traditions around activities in the lead up to Christmas. That Christmas should be about time spent together. Hand making ornaments and decorations. Seeing the Christmas lights. Making gingerbread cookies and houses. Making Christmas treats to give away to friends, neighbours, teachers. Singing carols.< I also like the idea of everyone getting new pajamas on Christmas eve. I like the idea of everyone waking in new PJs. (Bonus that it is also good for the unwrapping the presents photo the next morning.) And so, on Christmas eve, Mr Banya and I discussed and wrapped, we ended up putting a small pile of presents that we'd bought for JJ to one side; presents that didn't fit our new "Banya Christmas ethos". They're mostly small things - things that she'll still get anyway, but not for Christmas, not on top of everything else she was getting. I've put these things aside, to bring out one by one on rainy days throughout the year when we need a diversion from the norm. Because more is not always more. Of course, we can't shake off excess at Christmas time entirely. We have a large extended family. JJ and Bee have lots of great-grandparents, grandparents, aunties, uncles and cousins, all doing their best to thoroughly spoil them. We don't need to add fuel to this fire. Our Christmas, for our immediate family, can be a little more humble. And now it's time to pack up the baubles and lights. Christmas is over, until next year... xx Danya Christmas Traditions

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