Tis the time for lots of presents and parties, right? I don’t know about you guys, but my holiday to-do list is about a mile long (and growing by the minute). I shouldn’t be surprised as it’s like this each and every year. Making lists of presents to purchase for friends and family, purchasing said presents, wrapping presents, and standing in line to ship these presents (Oh how I’m not looking forward to this one!).
Now let me start off by saying I love buying gifts for friends and family. I spend all year coming up with fun and thoughtful gifts for those who are important to me. That said, we all know that I don’t like clutter. Yes, it does give me another excuse to organize, but in reality, I’m a less is more type of gal. Too much stuff just sitting around our home isn’t good for anyone. So this year I’d like to DO special things for my family & friends in addition to giving special items.
With the addition of Declan, our 6 month old son, I’ve been thinking more about annual traditions and special non gift giving things that I want to do for our family. Things that will last well past the holiday season. Those things that will show my family that I care. Things that don’t involve so much stuff. Or things that we’ll remember far into the future. Things that will take care of my family for years to come.
Non Gift Giving Things You Can Do for Your Family During the Holidays
Start a college fund
Enjoying the present while planning for the future. Sending Declan off to college seems like an eternity. I’m still trying to baby proof our house and figure out which of the thousands of sippy cups on the market are right for him (#priorities). While 18 years is a long way away, it also can take a long time to save up for college costs.
So each holiday season instead of buying one too many presents for under the tree, I’ll add a little extra money to Declan’s college fund. When he’s old enough to understand what college is, we’ll talk to him about saving for college. It’s important to me to teach our son the value of a dollar and the concept of saving (oh and a clean house and an organized play room 🙂 ).
Insure your valuables
We often think so much about ‘stuff’ and loved ones during the holidays, but it’s so important to protect what matters most to you year-round. Whether your home, vehicles or all those furnishings that make your house a home, partnering with a team of people you trust to insure your belongings can give you total peace of mind.
The Cincinnati Insurance Companies creates that peace of mind. They’ve become a trusted partner with a network of agents who see your life the way you do there to protect what matters most to you.
Protecting what matters most is one of the best gifts you can give your family. This year, more than any year, I’ve learned that peace of mind is so important. While stressing about all the little things: from diaper rash to swaddling correctly (Joe is WAY better at this than I am 🙂 ), its reassuring to know that the truly important things in our home will be taken care of.
From Declan’s nursery that I spent my entire pregnancy designing or our redecorated roof deck patio where we spent the majority of summer evenings, it’s good to know the things we’ve worked hard to earn are taken care of. The Cincinnati Insurance Companies promises to protect those precious belongings.
Create great experiences
There seems like there’s more to do around town in November and December than any other time of the year. From photos with Santa, tree lighting, parades, gingerbread displays, ornament exchanges … the list could go on and on. In years past I’ve often said no to too many activities during this season. It’s such a busy time of year and it always seems like there’s just too many events going on.
This being Declan’s first holiday season, I’m adding activities to the calendar like crazy. There’s only one first Christmas and I’ll recover in January.
Teach a new skill
While I would never encourage anyone to take cooking instructions from me (#Imicrowaveeverything), I do think cooking with your kiddos is really awesome. Some of my favorite holiday memories are making holiday dinners with my family …. my Polish family always serves perogies on Christmas!
My husband is really great at fixing things around the house: installing new lights (in every single bedroom and bathroom), replacing the garbage disposal, problem solving the toilet drainage situation (enough said). I guarantee that he doesn’t enough doing these things, but they’re great life skills that I’d love Declan to learn.
Start a new tradition
I’m a sucker for annual traditions. Maybe it’s my extreme type A personality. Maybe my obsession with plans. Or maybe I’m just crazy.
Whatever the reason, I loved having our family traditions. The neighborhood 4th of July fireworks, Memorial Day parade, Christmas footed pajamas, and delicious takeout Chinese food the day after Thanksgiving (and a long day of shopping!) are traditions that I want my son to enjoy for years to come!
Plan a trip
The rainy season in Seattle lasts up to 9 months each year. Saying that it’s rough is an understatement. We like to get out of the city at least once during the winter, ideally somewhere warm (and sunny)! Admittedly one of my favorite aspects of these trips is all the planning and preparation that goes in to a busy, activity filled vacation. (Is there any other kind???)
I’m excited to engage our kids in this. Both the planning and the fun of experiencing a new place. While Declan won’t be selecting the vacation on behalf of the family, it will be fun activity for him to participate in the preparation.
Before we opened any presents during the holidays, our family would often volunteer somewhere. The location changed each year: soup kitchen, shelter, clothing drive. It was always a good reminder of how fortunate we are, not only for all the presents we were going to open, but for the roof over our heard.
Another good option is to teach your kids to donate to charity. How neat it would be to have your kids pick out a charity that they think is important. Then add money to a piggy bank throughout the year to donate all of it in December.
The holidays are truly a great time to appreciate all that we have. To reflect on what’s important in life.
It’s also a great time to protect those prized possessions you worked so hard throughout the year to provide your family. Whether it’s your passion, your home, or your most valuable possessions, The Cincinnati Insurance Companies is proud to protect what matters to you. To learn more, contact an independent agent today!