There are Christmas traditions and then there is Christmas baggage. When my husband and I were first married, like many young couples, we did not have a big budget for our first Christmas. For decorations we had to be resourceful. We made our own out of paper, beads, glue, ribbons, and some dollar store items. They may not have been made with much money, but they were made with much love and we enjoyed them. Over the next few years we inherited some “vintage” Christmas ornaments from my husband’s grandparents (a lot of them) and we added those to our homemade decorations.
As time went on, however, we found that we were putting out these decorations at Christmas simply out of habit. It was what we did, right? That’s what we were supposed to do. But we really didn’t have any connection to them anymore. The old ornaments from my husband’s relatives meant something to him as a child and our homemade decorations we special to us at the time. Though we have fond memories of Christmases past because of those old festive items, they no longer reflect who we are today and certainly don’t reflect our family as a whole. Christmas is supposed to be an exciting time of new beginnings and salvation (“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a savior, which is Christ the Lord.” – Luke 2:11). In our house it was the same old same old.
So this year it is out with the old and in with the new! Embracing the spirit of our first Christmas together (and the spirit of Cornbread Wisdom), we kept the budget small and found bargains at stores like Ross and Daiso, as well as finding discount decorations a little closer to Christmas Day at Target and Kmart. And because it wouldn’t feel like us if some items weren’t handcrafted, we made some new Christmas decorations from dollar store items, only kicking them up a few notches from where our very first Christmas was. Doing this helped bring the family together, paid honor to the past, brought a breath of fresh air, and started new traditions.
If you’ve been doing the same thing year after year at Christmas time try changing it up with something new. A fresh outlook on the festivities can help bring a fresh insight into the meaning of the season.
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