Making Wonderful Holiday Memories During a Not-So-Wonderful Time- Part 3


Don’t feel guilty about not buying the toys being glorified by advertisements. The purpose of giving is about conveying love. Advertising narrows our perception about what conveys that love, and creates inappropriate guilt in us for not showing love the way they want us to show love. 

Forget them! Find a way to show your love your way! (That’s called “reframing your perspective.”) 

However, you will have to teach your family to speak this new language of love and appreciation so they’ll recognize it when they see it. Conversation is the key.

First, plan out your holiday using suggestions from this series, or researching ideas online. As you picture conducting the activities, and the excitement on your children’s faces because of them, you will get excited and your enthusiasm will grow. That’s when you take your ideas to the family and share your excitement for creating your new traditions that are uniquely yours.

Say this: “This year is going to be the best holiday ever! Everything is changing in the world, and we’re not going to let it change without us. We’re going to create a whole new set of holiday traditions. We’ll do them every year, and you’ll do them with your kids. You’re going to absolutely love what I have in store for you!”

This is the finale, Part 3 of a 3-part series, designed to help you create an incredible holiday season with a new set of uniquely-you traditions for your entire family. 

  • For ideas on how to put a positive spin on this year’s nontraditional holiday, read Part 1. 
  • If December 2020 finds you low on funds for holiday fun, ideas abound in Part 2 for what to do when We Have No Spare Money For Holiday Activities.

Now, let’s get down to how to deal with handling Holiday Gifting when you don’t have holiday money to spend.

Problem: We Can’t Afford Christmas Gifts

New Tradition:  Gift Your Time.

In our rapid-paced world, our time is a valuable and desirable commodity. Craft homemade gift certificates for your gift, or download and print them from your computer. Figure out what would be the best use of your time that would benefit the intended. Decorate your gift certificates and wrap them up. Put them under the trees, or use them as stocking stuffers. 

Here are some ideas to put on your gift certificates:

  • Babysit for a neighbor
  • Schedule girl time with your besties
  • Prepare a meal
  • Do laundry for a week
  • Organize the garage
  • Keep a clean room for a week
  • Babysit younger siblings while mom takes a bubble bath
  • Interior refrigerator cleaning
  • Private hour-long walk with just the two of you
  • A virtual sleepover with their friends
  • Alone time with me
  • Family Book Club (pick a book that everyone reads, and then discuss it)
  • Snail mail homemade cards to grandparents and relatives

New Tradition:  Make homemade gifts

Nothing says “love” like a homemade gift that you devoted time to creating. 

  • Gather pinecones from a local park and make decorations and wreaths. 
  • Get spice recipes and put them in decorated glass jars for gifts. (I have tons of reusable jars around just for this purpose.) 
  • Make a week’s menu comprised of your loved one’s favorite meals and flavors. 
  • Knit scarves. 
  • Sew memorable T-shirts into a blanket/quilt. 
  • Take family pictures in front of public holiday displays and send to loved ones. 

Simple pleasures are the best. The people who care about you, the ones deserving of your love and time, will be touched by these demonstration of love. Enjoy your new holiday traditions! 

For more New Traditions, see Making Wonderful Holiday Memories During a Not-So-Wonderful Time- Part 1 and Part 2