“Oh why can’t every day be like Christmas? Why can’t that feeling go on endlessly?” These Elvis Presley Christmas song lyrics ring in my head as I think about stretching Christmas this year.
My husband and I have been talking about how we want to do Christmas this year. The holidays have been very different for everyone due to Covid-19. I had mentioned to him the idea of spreading Christmas out for the month of December. The idea came about because it would be something to help me get by another pandemic month at home with the kids. Every day seems like Groundhog Day and maybe by adding a couple new toys in throughout the month would help me get through the day-to-day and help my kids on Christmas day. “New toys would help keep them busy and they wouldn’t be overwhelmed with stuff on Christmas Day,” I shared.
We decided to make a list of pros and cons. Here’s what we came up with:
- Each individual gift means more. Between us, four sets of grandparents, and aunts and uncles, Christmas can get overwhelming and the kids get gift fatigue. After a while, they just go through the motions of opening the gifts without enjoying the experience or truly appreciating the gift.
- The gifts are better utilized. Nothing excites kids like the smell of a new toy and it usually only lasts a couple of days or maybe weeks. By spreading the gifts out, the toy will be played with more since the kids have time to focus on that one particular new toy instead of multiple new toys all at once.
- Mom’s sanity. If you have been mostly staying at home through this pandemic, you might have felt like every day is the same and have been looking for a new activity to help keep your kids busy. Keeping the kids busy playing with their new stuff could potentially help you throughout each week.
- The true meaning of Christmas. By spreading out the gifts, you focus less on the gifts on Christmas Day and more on the true meaning of the day and season.
- New strategy. We could use the new present opening concept and still make it fun and valuable to the kids by incorporating it into a fun game while mixing in a life lesson.
- Traditional Christmas lost? What if it was successful? We would be breaking tradition of practicing patience and the excitement of waiting until the day of to open Christmas gifts. Will the kids still be as excited about Christmas Day? We still don’t want to take away from the special magic of Christmas Day even though they would still have gifts to open.
- It doesn’t work. All of the things we thought that could be good pros never happened the way we thought, and the concept didn’t work with our children. We would have completely changed the way we did Christmas as an experiment in trying to survive more of the day-to-day of Covid.
In the end will it even matter to a two- and five-year-old? They are so young that they probably won’t even remember and it probably won’t have any lasting impact on their life. We are living in different times. Almost every decision we have had to make during this pandemic has been “let’s try it (or not) and see” because we have never lived through a pandemic before. Maybe I’m onto something, maybe I’m not, but this year, no matter what, Christmas is going to be different.