05 December 2012

Appreciating Wholly

Christmas is upon us and I am definitely in the holiday spirit!

Christmas is such an amazing and magical time of year! I love watching as neighborhoods transform from their dismal ordinary look to Christmas and winter wonderlands. The lights, the decorations, the music, the upbeat and festive feel in the air; it all makes me so happy. 

Last weekend we went Christmas Tree hunting. We met up with Kevin's kin and made a family affair of it. Growing up I always had a fake store bought tree, so looking for a Christmas tree to cut down is still something very new to me. I have come to realize that this activity is not something to do in your nice suede boots (as I did last year). It will be wet, you will get muddy, and the memories you make will be oh so worth it. This year we went to Trees and Bees, a magical and amazing tree farm filled with the most kindred of souls, neatest ornaments, sweetest honey, and most delicious apple cider. I am all about tradition and and the warm fuzzy feeling that comes with it. So we Tatum's have decided to make this Christmas tree farm our permanent one. We will be back each year with all of the same people, ready to hunt down the most perfect Christmas tree to fill our house with the smell of pine and holiday spirit.

Grandma and her grandbabies at Trees & Bees

Growing up there was a lot on inconsistency in my life, but Holidays always had some form of tradition. I was never surprised to find an apple, orange, walnuts, candy cane and one special goodie in my Christmas stocking. It was what we got each year. Looking back now, I realize that this tradition was due mostly out of necessity. My mom couldn't afford to fill the stocking the way she would have liked to, so she did what she could to make them look full. Fresh fruits and walnuts is what we ended up with and never was I disappointed. It was what I knew, and that was ok with me. 

I have decided I wanted to keep this same sense of humbleness in my children. I don't want our holidays to be filled with the expectation of gifts and sense of entitlement. I have come to understand that if I start now, then they will be none the wiser to anything else. Just as I was growing up. So, lately I have been scouring the internet, asking friends, and reading magazines; trying to find a good tradition to have for the kids when it comes to gift receiving from mama and daddy. In my searching endeavors I stumbled upon a clever saying that I have decided to incorporate into our Christmas Holiday.

Something you want, Something you need, something to wear, something to read.

I fell in love with this gift giving idea the minute I heard it. Four simple gifts...
...well five simple gifts; I think I am going to add a category of something to create. 

I feel by limiting the number of gifts the kids receive and putting much more heart, thought, and creativity into the ones they do receive will foster a sense of appreciation. Or so I hope :-) This is a Christmas gift giving tradition that I think will be easy to maintain, fun to do, and a great way of helping us stay within a budget. 

Kaydence's Christmas Wish List...and an amazing find by Kevin!

The kids will always have more than what they need between us, their aunts, uncles, grandparents and friends, so I want to teach and encourage them to give back to those less fortunate. I have decided during the holidays season we will be making baked goodies, and buying simple gifts to give to the community. I want them to know and appreciate the hard work of the people in the hospitals, firefighters, police men, etc. I also want them to know that there are many less fortunate than us, and Christmas is a great time to give to those. We will be doing a few Random Acts of Kindness this year that I think the kids will enjoy.
I know they are much too young to truly understand and appreciate what we are doing but I want to instill these values early. 

I love the holidays and I am so excited to pass down old and start new traditions with the kids. Traditions are the things my kids will remember when they are older and hopefully carry on with their children. I hope growing up humbly will teach them to appreciate wholly!

Kaydence's First Year of Christmas Tree decorating

Happy Holidays!

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