I’ve been thinking more and more about forthcoming birthdays and, of course, Christmas. I’m keen to cut down on the volume of ‘stuff’ coming into the house. The children really don’t need anything and we have been giving more thought to other things we could do to mark the children’s birthdays and, of course, Christmas.
It’s Daniel’s birthday next month, and we are really struggling for ideas of what to buy him. I think maybe one of two football-related things, perhaps a new shirt/shorts to play in and I have some football-themed activity books for him. I have suggested to family that what he would really like is to be taken for a hot chocolate and a book from the book shop. He would enjoy the 1-1 time and be in his element choosing a book!
Let them choose a treat
We always go out for birthday breakfasts, and this year I’ve suggested to the children that we might go for an evening meal too in the week of their birthday. It’s unlikely we will do a party this time for them so an evening meal out will be an additional treat. If they don’t want an evening meal out then we could look to do something else such as the cinema or bowling – I’m keen to enjoy the day and make it special so want them to choose what that treat is.
Share a family event
I’m keen for the children to have a sense of family and want to make Christmas more about family rather than consuming things. Many years ago I suggested on my husband’s side that, rather than buy gifts, we instead made the effort to all do something together, perhaps go to Christmas markets together, or to view Christmas lights together. Something that would build memories, rather than build mountains of things in the house.
Having family get togethers in lieu of Christmas gifts helps build stronger family relationships and gives people the excuse and reason to make a celebration across the year. I larger families (like ours) where there are lots of grandchildren and the such then making the time and effort to find a convenient date and theme for get-togethers is so worth it. You could even capture the event in a fun way by hiring something like a Photo Booth (like this Photo Booth Rental in Fort Worth).
Take a break
The children are desperate to stay in a caravan and we talked about maybe booking a weekend away for one of the children’s birthdays when it falls close to a weekend. We have looked at booking a cottage for a large group and perhaps inviting family with us. Finding accommodation for large groups is (surprisingly!) hard but www.partyhouses.co.uk makes it much easier to find somewhere to accommodate us plus additional family or friends. It seems like a great idea to do in January, once the rush and excitement of Christmas is out of the way and the lull of the new year sets in. Having a break to look forward to appeals to me.
Enjoy a family photoshoot
A couple of my friends do annual photoshoots around Christmas time, and it always looks like a great way to mark the season and of course have fund and end up with some beautiful photographs to look back on. We found a lovely local photographer when Harry was only a few months old, and we really ought to book her again and get some more professional images taken.
I’m not sure if we will actually manage to achieve to cut down on the ‘stuff’ coming into the house as we enter the birthday and Christmas season, but I hope that we manage to strike a better balance in time, whilst building memories for the children.