I love that a couple of my boys have decided that getting the Christmas lights up is important to them. They get out there every year now and decide where they should go and get it done. As we decorate inside I try to focus on the fun and enjoyment of pulling these decorations out instead of the goal of a "perfect" look. My tree may not be the prettiest in town, but we sure do have fun decorating it!
In the past couple of years I've loved seeing what my kids find important. What they want to help make happen for the season. This year our 4 year old has been especially excited about gingerbread houses. It seems that our fun together last year really stuck in his head. Meanwhile my older kids have their list of holiday goodies they are perfectly willing to make so that they don't get forgotten. This year our 7 year old (with her older sibling's encouragement) put together the gift exchange name drawing. Slowly, as they are out running errands with me or daddy they are sneaking those gifts into the house.
One of my favorite things that we've been doing has been Advent; by reading a special book together in the evenings. The book helps us focus on what we are celebrating and the great gift we have been given through our Savior Jesus Christ. This year we will be pulling out Jotham's Journey, the first in a series of advent books for families.
We've also shifted the focus onto other days. We celebrate Saint Nicholas Day with German and Polish foods, setting out the shoes to be filled with simple goodies, and studying some church history. We love inviting friends and family to help us celebrate. We've also been doing more for New Years. I'm finding that these days have less expectations, pressure, and stress attached to them and so they are more enjoyable for everyone.
What about you? Do you go all out with the gifts and decor? Do you skip it all? What is important to you in this season and what steps to do take to make that happen?