Many homeschool families sacrifice the comfort of two incomes in order to educate their children at home. Because of this, we had very little extra money growing up. I think this was one of the reasons my mom had a knack for making simple things seem special. Maybe she would have done this anyway, but I think the fact that we couldn’t afford many things made her all the more determined. She took ordinary moments and made them extraordinary. How did she do this? There are so many simple and inexpensive ways to create memories as a family. Here are some ideas that I hope will help you find opportunities to create special occasions this Christmas season.
Decorating The HouseInstead of slowly pulling out boxes of Christmas decorations here and there, set aside a day and turn it into a family event. All you need is Christmas music playing in the background, hot chocolate to drink, and a bit of time. If you are particular about how you like things to be decorated, choose a few jobs that you won’t mind your children doing. Nothing takes away the joy of decorating like being told you’re not doing it right. Perhaps you like your Christmas tree a certain way. Since children love decorating the tree, consider getting a smaller one just for them. Or maybe you already have a plant in your house that can double as an extra “Christmas Tree”. My dad and brother were usually in charge of hanging the lights outside while mom and I decorated inside. Whatever you choose to do, remember that joy and delight are contagious. If you show excitement, your children will be sure to catch it.
A Few Candles Go a Long WayAn ordinary meal can become a memorable one with just a few lit candles and some table decorations or a nice tablecloth. It truly does not take much. If you have it, pulling out nicer dinnerware can also add to the ambiance. Set a specific time for your meal and have everyone dress up just a little, or a lot if you choose. The laughs and conversations we had as a family during these meals are still cemented in my memory.
Christmas Light LookingTaking a walk or a drive to look at Christmas lights was always a favorite activity for my family. Several times, we listened to a Christmas story on the radio or on CD during these trips. There’s just something about getting all bundled up with blankets in the car and listening to a Christmas story while watching for lights that easily becomes a treasured memory.