presence over presents

 photo credit: Jesslaine Elise

photo credit: Jesslaine Elise

With the holidays over and onto the new year, a question I'm hearing a lot is "what did Santa bring you?" --  "what did you "Get" for Christmas?". Setting kids up that Christmas is about getting gifts. My husband and I have always been about presence over presents (of course, we wrap up some LEGO, board games and one personalized gift per kid) but, the older the kids are getting and the busier our lives are becoming, it's more important now then ever. 

My sisters have also joined this train of thought and just finished their second annual Christmas scavenger hunt with the kids at the farm. It is SO much fun and there is nothing better than creating memories together.

 photo:  deMo Photography  (husband)

photo: deMo Photography (husband)

 photo credit:  deMo Photography

photo credit: deMo Photography

My family also pulls back the reins on gifts throughout the year and contributes to the kid's education funds. They opt for a little something - book or small LEGO set - for something to open but they don't even know how great the gift of education will be until later in life. It's so wonderful.

One of our greatest annual getaways is to the lake. We stroke two weeks off the calendar 2 years in advance (mainly because of my work and summer weddings) and, come the morning the online booking opens up, we are on there bright and early to snag from our selected groupings of beautiful sites at various lakes. Never really particular as to where we go, as long as the facilities are clean and well-maintained, there's electricity (as we are glampers, not campers) and that there is a beach for our copious amounts of "river races" . You'll have to join us at the beach to know what that's all about! Lately, one of our fave spots has been Emma Lake.

Many opt for the winter holiday of a one week or 10 day all-inclusive and, don't get me wrong, that is totally my jam and we fortunately used to do this... but now, as a family of 5, it's an easy $10k. and... nope.

 photo credit:  deMo Photography

photo credit: deMo Photography

 photo credit:  deMo Photography

photo credit: deMo Photography

 photo credit: Jesslaine Elise

photo credit: Jesslaine Elise

So, put some thought into the next gift you give to your child, or someone else's! Instead of a toy, opt for some movie tickets, an art class, or an afternoon grazing the library together and sharing some ice cream. As long as you're showing your love and undivided attention.... you're winning.

xo happy new year friends

Joc