Since having a child, the desire to focus our energies on experiences over things has definitely continued and increased, particularly around Christmas. Our favourite thing about Christmas is really getting into the festive spirit, and making memories by having cosy evenings in, and going on lots of Christmas themed days out (which we wrote about in our last two posts).
Last Christmas was Oskar’s first Christmas. His presents from us were a Grimms rainbow stacker and a small bag of building blocks. We don’t want Oskar to associate Christmas with mountains of presents that have been bought for no real reason, and if we had bought hundreds of gifts, we doubt he (or we) would remember them. We do remember taking him to the German market when he was 6 months old though, and him laughing at the lights, and sticking his hand in the cream on someone’s hot chocolate when they weren’t looking! We remember waking up on our first Christmas Eve as a family and reading Christmas stories in bed, taking him to see Santa with his cousins and then all going for hot chocolate, and we will never forget him eating his first Christmas dinner. We hope as he gets older he remembers more of these memories, and grows up to know it’s not what’s under the tree that’s important, but who is gathered around it.
This year he doesn’t have a lot of presents either. We choose his presents very carefully, based on how he plays, and his favourite things. At the moment he loves vehicles, seeing how things join together and come apart, and books (either being read to or turning the pages and chattering away himself) . We have loved wooden toys since before Lauren was pregnant, so have always chosen these. The few presents he has are meaningful and special, and we can’t wait to see him play with them!
Likewise, we have only chosen two presents each for each other. When we were younger we often got each other lots of presents ‘just because’, but over the years we have realised more and more, than true happiness cannot come from simply material possessions . Or to put it another way...
With so much commercialism surrounding Christmas, it’s refreshing to step back from the stress of buying piles of gifts, and enjoy the more simple things surrounding the season. Following traditions and spending time with those you love brings a kind of happiness no gift could!
And now all of a sudden we are two days away from Christmas Eve! Oskar’s second Christmas, and our 14th Christmas as a couple. We will be spending it going out for brunch (a new tradition we started last year!), seeing Sarah’s family, and then coming back home for food, Christmas films, and maybe a mulled wine when a certain little one is tucked up in bed!
We hope however you spend this Christmas, whether your pile of presents is big or small, that you enjoy time with the ones you love and make some wonderful memories.