As the sky finally begins to fill with the first snowflakes of the season, I find myself overwhelmed with holiday memories: the jingle of bells that used to hang on the front door, the smells of cinnamon and vanilla and the X’s marking down the days until family arrives.
When I think back to my childhood, I can hardly name a gift received, but I can fondly recall playing with cousins and eating all things covered in chocolate.
Now that I have kids of my own, gift-giving during the holiday season is something I have to think about.
Stressed about expensive wish lists and balancing busy schedules, I sat down with my kids, a five-year-old and a 12-year-old, and asked what they really wanted this Christmas Season.
It turns out, neither of them mentioned anything I could buy in a big box store and instead listed off everything from simple crafts and decorating the fireplace, to baking cookies and making sure our lights were better than the neighbours. It was a gentle reminder that there are some things you just can’t buy.
Memories are made.
This year, with the youngest starting Kindergarten and the oldest now in high school, and with myself and my partner both working full-time, doing things together has taken on a whole new meaning.
In years past, we took for granted the time we had to prepare for the “Big Day.” This year, small moments seem to be what we all crave.
If your family is in the same boat, join me this year in putting down our phones, putting some music on and spending time cutting out old fashioned snowflakes from whatever paper you have laying around the house. There is something magical about the snipping of scissors and slowly unfolding your creation to reveal some new every time. You could even recycle this very paper, which you are reading now.
If you have time, whip together a batch of brown sugar shortbread to snack on while you craft. Just cream together 1 cup of butter, 1/2 cup of packed brown sugar and slowly add in 2 cups of flour. Knead until smooth, and cut into small rectangles before baking at 300 degrees F for 23 to 25 minutes. We don’t even wait until they are cool before diving in.
Don’t get so caught up in the planning and preparing for the season that you miss the best parts.
Brianne Sheppard is co-owner of Makeshift Kamloops and Far and Wide. For more, go online to farandwidekamloops.com.