An Old-Fashioned Christmas

Christmas is a time of joy, peace, and goodwill.  Or at least, that’s what the songs and carols say. But is it, truly? I mean, how much goodwill do you feel when your toddler has yanked down the carefully placed ornaments for the 6th time in one morning? How much peace is there in holiday shopping?

I am gonna let out a secret to peaceful holidays.

An ornament made and given to us by some ranch friends.

An ornament made and given to us by some ranch friends.

Don’t do it.

Really. Don’t do the frantic shopping, the endless crafting, the perfect decor. Just stop.

But this is our TRADITION!! I can hear you yell. Yes. Maybe it is. But how about a new tradition? You can always make a new one – if you are excited and upbeat about it, your kids are probably more open to the idea than you think. Just lay down the need for the ‘Joneses’ Christmas. Get back to the ‘Little House’ kind. You know – where everyone had secrets in the weeks leading up th Christmas? And there were popcorn strings and cutout angels on the tree? One gift per person on the breakfast plate? Yeah. That’s the kind of Christmas I’m talking about.

Jenni made this fun ornament!

Jenni made this fun ornament!

Not saying you have to be stingy, or boring, or mean. But simplicity is not Scrooge-like. It’s just a lost art. When I see all the tips on how to balance your Christmas budget, I think, “Wow”! Really? Why buy gifts when you can’t afford them? Since when have we gotten so weak-spined that we can’t graciously turn down a Secret Santa party or the 3rd Christmas party? (if it involves gifts) I mean, if you have the money – go for it!! But it makes me a little sad seeing people wreck their whole budget, their sanity, and their lives all month, just to satisfy the whiny kids. (or the trashman – really??) Trust me, I know it’s easier short term to just cave. Whether it’s family, kids, job, church, you name it. But I don’t think that is  the way to do it. I think lessons on life are more needed  by our children to day, than another plastic toy. Maybe not as appreciated right now – but one day…

Lucia was sitting her stuffed animals in the tree one day. Looks like the squirrel and the Santa are having a good talk...

Lucia was sitting her stuffed animals in the tree one day. Looks like the squirrel and the Santa are having a good talk…

Here’s what we are doing this year:

Budgeting money: Homemade gifts. Yep. Still working on what I can make that will be actually a treat for my son. What do you make for a 10-year-old boy? And just one gift each. The one-gift policy is how we started out, so the kids aren’t expecting anything more. That alone is the best thing we’ve done to keep things sane. They look forward to that one gift at Christmas, just like they look forward to their one gift at their Birthdays.

Frank made the Santa. Strange, since we don't do Santa in this house. :)

Frank made the Santa. Strange, since we don’t do Santa in this house. :)


Simplify: I let them decorate the tree (and the house!) just how they like. In fact, they did it 100% alone, I still haven’t touched the tree. If something looks funky, well, it looks good to them, and that’s why we have the tree, right? To have a fun time of decorating? They will grow up and do it more neatly soon enough. I like their childish touches right now!

Besides, we all love a homemade Christmas. We like colorful lights, red, green and gold decor…basically everything traditional and cozy. While I think the blue and white decor is stunning – it seems a little too cold and impersonal for us. My husband likes the lights big and colorful! I have to say – nothing so cozy as early morning when the tree is softly glowing.

Oh, it's random and colorful! But the kids absolutely love it!

Oh, it’s random and colorful! But the kids absolutely love it!


Shopping: Making our own gifts, reusing ornaments, = no need to shop! :) Yay!

OK, well, we still have to eat, and I will be going in this week for our Christmas ham, and some goodies to make a Christmas feast. But you know what? getting food is less intimidating when you aren’t trying to keep your eyes open for gift ideas at the same time. :)

Someone gave us this ornament after our son died. I like it.

Someone gave us this ornament after our son died. I like it.


playing with bokeh!

playing with bokeh!



What about you? are you having an old-fashioned Christmas? Or do you thrive in the hustle and bustle of modern holiday mode? :) (That’s OK, too.)

Note: We don’t always do homemade gifts, and I’m not against more than one gift. It’s just what we’ve had to do this year. These ideas are not meant to attack anyone – just a new way of looking at things! :)

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10 thoughts on “An Old-Fashioned Christmas

    1. Kay Schrock Post author

      Thanks for the idea, Annette! I thought of that too, but that would mean I would have to hang it, and I am terrible at hanging shelves, haha! (seriously – I have maybe one shelf in my whole house!!) I am thinking of a bow/arrow set out of pvc pipe. I saw it on Pinterest and it looks cool.

  1. Taylor-Made Ranch Homestead

    OMGosh I love this – as a matter of fact I just scheduled a post to go out tomorrow addressing much the same thing as you – when did we lose the JOY of Christmas? Yes, we’ve simplified our Christmas, and gifts, and decorating and it’s been wonderful. I absolutely love that you have your children decorate the tree – LOVE IT!

    ~Taylor-Made Ranch~
    Wolfe City, Texas
    Taylor-Made Ranch Homestead recently posted…Why Bother With This Homesteading Thing?My Profile

  2. Bonnie

    I think your idea of only one gift is dead on. So many people don’t realize that God gave us one gift–an eternal one–his son Jesus.
    We also are simplifying life and appreciate what our Maker has provided for us.
    Physical presence of family is better than any “present” from a store.
    Have a Merry Christmas and blessings to your family.

  3. Carol Preibis

    Hello Kay, I love this post! As I read it, I was thinking about the movie “A Chritsmas Story” – will be watching that one again soon. Although the bb gun gift is somewhat central to the story, there’s so much more to it than that! Love is the real theme of that movie.

    Your post reminds me of one of my recent ones: “Simplify the Holidays Your Way”

    Wishing you and all a wonderful old-fashioned Christmas, filled with love and joy!

    Carol Preibis recently posted…The Power of KindnessMy Profile

    1. Kay Schrock Post author

      I love your post on different ways to simplify and bring meaning back to Christmas. I find it’s actually much easier to just go plunk down some cash for another toy that I know t hey will have fun with (for 2 days) rather than put all the thought and time into making something! :) But yes – the love. That is the real story! :)

  4. Abbi

    Great post! I think we have a simple Christmas but you have us beat. :-) One thing I do really need to learn is to be more willing to let the kids do more of the decorating. I enjoy decorating and professionally I am a florist so I like it done right – but the kids also enjoy it and it would be better I think if I wasn’t quite so picky about the end result.
    I also have a 10 year old boy. I am making him new mittens but he will also be getting something more fun and some fun snacks and a book. Here is a link to my pinterest board that has ideas of homemade gifts for boys (some of them link to tutorials on my blog):
    Abbi recently posted…15 Years!My Profile

    1. Kay Schrock Post author

      Sounds fun, Abbi! I used to dream of being a florist… didn’t happen, but I still love to arrange flowers and things. :) I want to learn to knit garments (besides scarves!) someday, but right now is not the season for that. Its hard for me to let go of perfection in decorating, too! Especially when we are hosting guests for Christmas! Have a blessed and merry Christmas!


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