We’ll be home for Christmas. But in a different way – we’re going to spend Christmas at our home in California instead of our home in Indiana.
So this year I really want to design a Christmas around that idea – we are home. Our Christmas plans will look different from year to year, but a lot of what I said last year about the holidays still rings true. Especially the part about trying to focus on experiences over things for Christmas.
So let’s take a peek at five of the big pieces of our holiday this year.
I love Christmas lights, but for some reason I’m not crazy about other seasonal decorations. My husband loves it though, so I picked up a few different festive items and did what I could to make the apartment cheerful (and not overwhelming).
We even decorated the bunny cage with little ornaments and some garland. The most important decorations were actually candles, because we love the ambiance that the scent of winter pine brings to our space.
The best part? We can store these decorations in a space smaller than a shoe box.
Again, we’re keeping it simple. For the nephews (six of them under the age of 12), we got walkie-talkies – a gift that is only fun if you’re spending time with others. I loved the idea of them running around the house, radioing to each other like secret agents.
[SPOILER ALERT] For the grownups, we did what we felt each family member would use or appreciate most. We gave practical things like gift cards, fun & useful coffee mugs and I even found some awesome glass straws for my smoothie-loving mother.
We also did something new this year for a few of our family members – we donated to charities in their honor. We picked a different charity for everyone we did this for, because we wanted it to be relevant and meaningful to each of them.
We miss everyone terribly this season, but we’re so fortunate to have the communication we do with everyone. Calling, texting and skyping keep us all almost close enough to touch.
To reach out even a little further, we took Christmas photos of us and the bunnies and are sending out hand-written cards to let grandparents, friends and other family members know that we’re thinking about them.
Even sitting down to write the cards has helped with those holiday blues I wrote about in my last post.
Since we don’t have a lot of holiday parties to go to this year, we’re going to spend a little bit of Christmas Eve volunteering and serving food for those in need.
We’ve both been feeling like it’s time to start sharing our time more with others who need it, so I think this is a start to something we can pick up in 2016!
I wanted to share this little tidbit since I think it might be a good option for people celebrating holidays far from home, and it might serve as a starting point for our future holidays in California.
This is the most important for us this year. Instead of gifts, we’re investing in strategic, sit-down-and-talk-to-me games.
My husband has some holiday time off, so we’re going to spend our days exploring new places in LA, planning for 2016 and playing games to our hearts’ content.
Because being together is what it’s really about, right?