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This post is part of the “How We Celebrate Christmas” — a mini series showing how other families “do” Christmas. I hope you enjoy learning from other families as much as I have!
As always, this is not meant to stress us out of make us feel like we are doing Christmas wrong. Rather, my hope with this series is we can see that there are many RIGHT ways of celebrating. Hopefully some of these ideas will give you some great ideas as you start or adapt your own meaningful family Christmas traditions.
Meet: Lizzy and the Jensen Family
1. Tell us about your family!
My husband Dave and I have 4 children, ages 5, 4 and 4, and 1. We live in Connecticut and though we’re not near any family we’re creating a life we love out there!
2. Tell us a favorite memory of Christmas past!
3. How do gifts work in your home?
We’re just starting in on the Santa phase, and so far we’re going with it, though we don’t emphasize him much. This December we’ve focused on trying to do a small act of service every day, to bring light to the world like the Baby Jesus did. Up to this point we’ve kept gifts minimal (last year it was avocados and bubble wrap that was the favorite so our kids to this point are pretty easy to please ha!), but this year we’re surprising them with a trip to Disneyland–I can’t wait to see the looks on their faces when they realize!!
4. If married, do you and your spouse exchange gifts? What about sibling gifts?
5. What special Christmas Eve traditions does your family have?
Christmas morning we would wait by the stairs, and had to sing a special song “Here we sit like frogs on a lilly pad” until my parents would come get us to come downstairs. Growing up in the sunny city of St. George then we loved going outside and playing and enjoying the sun. As we grew older we also loved to do a movie on Christmas evening.
7. Do you have any favorite holiday recipes that make an appearance each year?
8. Do you have any Christ-centered Christmas traditions you want to share?
9. What are some ways you have simplified Christmas to keep stress lower?
10. Any other favorite Christmas memories/ideas/tips you want to share? We love hearing how others make their season magical but not overwhelming!
More than anything for me to keep the season magical is to keep it simple, and try not to overthink it. I try to take no more than one day to do anything, and if it takes longer than that I don’t do it. For instance, I decorate in one day, and at the end of the day I decide enough is enough. Christmas shopping was the same, and neighbor presents too. I feel like if anything is going to take longer than a couple of hours then I’m probably making it more of a big deal than it needs to be. The greatest magic comes from the magic that is already inherent in the season–and I find that magic most easily when I spend time with my kids and with God. So for me any time spent reading Christmas stories, in the scriptures, talking with my girls or just spending time with them doing nothing is where I find the real magic!
You can find Lizzy over on instagram @lizzy.jensen, or on Youtube where she talks about living on purpose and finding your mission.
Thanks so much Lizzy!
Want more? You can find all the other “How We Celebrate” posts right here! There are so many real, good ideas you’ll love!