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Keeping the Magic of the Season… on a budget!

The holidays are upon us.  My tree is up and special surprises are to be made.

For me, keeping the magic of Christmas is important.  Its a warm time of the year, not a time to be at war with one another.  It can bring out the best and the worst in people.  I hope to always remain at my best.

I wanted to share with all of you, a few ways to keep wonder alive for the kids and loved ones in your life.  There you have my Christmas tree along with my nieces who helped me decorate it.

As we decorated, I read them The Polar Express.  They loved it.  Its the perfect story for tree decorating too because.  Nice long, lyrical paragraphs that paint a magical journey to the North Pole, large pictures that they can look at just once and be satisfied and get back to tree trimming.

When we got to the part of the story where our hero is chos

en by Santa to receive the first gift of Christmas, I asked them what each of them would ask Santa.  They, of course, never hearing this story before, recited their Christmas list.  I just smiled and we went on to talk of the magical silver bell which they instantly wanted.

Now, if you look closely at my tree, you’ll notice tiny stockings hanging on it.   They are just these simple 98 cent stockings I picked

up at Walmart and used a bit of glitter puff paint to put each of my nieces and nephews names who will be in Georgia this year on them.

What the girls don’t know is that after they left, I slipped large silver bells with small pieces of leather lopped through them into each stalking.  When they come over later this month for our little Holiday get together, they’ll be receiving their own copy of The Polar Express and then I’ll send them to get what they think are empty stalkings from my tree.

Magic and the most expensive part was buying the book.

Another fabulous gift idea that was given to me by my other mother is take a burlap sack or something else seasonal but fun.  Put a new pair of pajamas for each child inside, a hot coco kit with their own special mug, a bag of their favorite popcorn or movie snack, and one of your favorite holiday movies that you’ve always wanted to share with them.

Close up the bag or box and write “Do not open until Christmas Eve!”  When Christmas Eve arrives, you have a new holiday tradition.  Cuddling up on the couch and watching a favorite movie with your kids.  Have too many movies?  Get a book!  There are so many great holiday books out there and you’re still creating a warm, fond memory that they’ll take on with them, recreating for their own kids.

What’s even better, if you’re using a burlap sack, not only does it make a fun decoration under your tree, you can fold it up and pack it away with your decorations and use it again for the next year.  You won’t have to go looking for another one time and time again.

And never forget Cookies for Santa.  If you have time to bake with your kids, do it!  You get delicious cookies and again, there’s that all important quality time.

Its easy to get lost in the shopping of the season.  I’ve actually heard a woman tell a couple once, “So you’re getting me two things right since I’m buying for both of you?”  People get into fist fights over things their kids will break in a few months.

I love giving gifts and finding that perfect thing they never even realized they wanted.  But, I don’t know about you, but I don’t remember very many of the gifts I got growing up.  I remember the excitement and the “I wants” of course, but what I remember most of all is my family.  Laying underneath the Christmas tree and looking up at the lights through the branches and thinking I’d stumbled upon a magical world of fairies.

I remember baking with my Nana, taking ornaments and dropping them through the branches like it was a game.  So I’m not saying don’t do that shopping, I’m just saying remember to take the time and rekindle the memories your children and loved ones will truly take away from the season.  You can keep the Magic without busting the bank.  I promise.

Marilyn Baron - December 6, 2012 - 6:35 am

A magical post. I like the idea of PJs, hot cocoa and popcorn. Love the pictures.

Sandy Elzie - December 6, 2012 - 7:25 am

What a fun…and informative post. Christmas is for children….even if you’re slightly more mature it doesn’t mean that you’re not a kid at heart, right? :-D

Our kids always got new PJs on Christmas Eve…that way they looked good in all the pictures the next morning. Oh, and I love the part about laying under the tree & looking up through the branches at the lights…..I did that! Ah, when I was younger. :-) Merry Christmas

Sandy Elzie - December 6, 2012 - 7:26 am

BTW, forgot to say I enjoyed the pictures….great tree & cute nieces.

Bryonna Nobles - December 6, 2012 - 3:11 pm

I’m glad ya’ll like the pictures and girls. I also hope this helps ya’ll with some sweet holiday ideas.

For me, the holidays are all about making memories. That’s what I take with me more then anything over the years.

Tamara LeBlanc - December 6, 2012 - 5:18 pm

I love your miniature stocking, bells and Polar express book gift idea. Very cute!
My kids are 16 and 19 and don’t believe in Santa anymore :(
but they both love the holiday. My son (19yr old) just updated his status on FB and said that he can’t wait to come home (from college) and spend christmas with the best italian family on Earth…um, yes, he’s a tad biased, but I love that he enjoys spending the holidays with us.
My daughter LOVES Christmas. Me and her have a tradition of watching Elf (one of my favorite holiday movies) and making cookies together.
My kids have a bunch of cousins in town, too, and they’re all little so I think me, Case and Blake will have to come up with a cool tradition like the one you share with your neices for them. I bet they’ll love it.
Hope to see you Saturday!!
Happy Thursday,
Tamara

Carol Burnside - December 6, 2012 - 6:52 pm

Thanks for the great reminder, Bryonna. Happy holidays to you and yours!

maxine - December 6, 2012 - 7:29 pm

Those girls are the cutest and you do so much that they will remember forever! Good for you! I bet it is always happy around your house. I still like to have carols playing while I set the tree up. Of course since shoulder surgery a few years ago. I just bring out the tree, take the sheet off and plug it in. All the ornaments and lights are on it. Presto.

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