Christmas started to look a lot different after my parents divorced, the literally picture perfect Hallmark Movie version of the celebration was no more. It was that first year, when my sister and I decided to go to the bar on December 25th that we realized that that was totally okay. Our current Christmas festivities look completely different from the ones I had growing up, gone are the days where opening presents piles to the ceiling took all day, gone is the religion behind the day, gone is the dude in the big red jumpsuit.
No presents, no tree, no ornaments, how sad?! Nah, we have the best fucking time.
I got this great idea when my first was born that instead of buying a house full of new presents, I would wrap things up that we already had....in junk mail I would save throughout the year. It was wildly successful and every year I love to see it evolve, last year both children could not contain their joy to bring me things to wrap, to guess which ones they had before unwrapping and to finally unwrap!!!! They lose their minds, they get so excited, even when Ezekiel wrapped a box of goldfish crackers.
What I do buy are season passes (to where depending on if we are in WA or CA) because I will pay for memories, for adventure, for quality time.
Instead of getting together with extended family, as was tradition growing up, instead of second thanksgiving, we are usually with my dad and my sister, bur it looks different everywhere because we aren't tied to tradition. We do what we want! "Isn't it sad you don't see your mom...your extended family?" Uhm, nope! The day looks however we want it to, we have complete freedom to go on a hike or stay in and binge on netflix. It's a glorious day because we make it so.
I decided to tell my kids the truth about Santa because, I think it's weird to have kids believe they are only worthy of things based on behavior...because behavior is based on so many other things! It's weird that someone would enter our house while we sleep and bring us things. Plus, I didn't want to fuel the CHRISTMAS = STUFF trap. I said "things are as real as you make them and some people like to buy into the story of Santa." So don't worry about my kiddos ruining it for yours either ;) Ezekiel said "Mom, I know Santa isn't a real person, but I just really want Darth Vader to be real. So I'm going to believe that." Perfect!
Anyway, that is our perspective on Christmas, a hopeful reminder that you don't have to continue any tradition that you don't want to and it doesn't have to be sad, it can be incredibly freeing to do things how you want and focus on family in a new way <3