photography by angela statzer
my mom and dad insist we do not buy them stuff.
all they want for christmas is a letter
saying how we helped others with our moolah instead of buying them stuff.
our family celebrates christmas eve with a big polish feast and a fun yankee swap.
my dad always makes sure the kids end up with a bag of cash.
the grown ups usually give something they already have.
so we do no christmas shopping.
taking all of that moolah we used to spend on each other,
and giving it to people who need it more...
we do not need more stuff.
but christmas morning with no presents under the tree feels sad.
so we give our boys adventure instead of stuff.
three years ago we packed and wrapped suitcases,
stuck boarding passes and snacks for the flight in their stockings,
then we all hopped on a plane and had lobster in boston for christmas dinner.
and we've never looked back. we go away every year now.
so we keep downsizing all of those rubbermaid bins full of christmas stuff.
we are down to two...
everybody told me we'd be sad about that, but we're not.
i feel all ahhhhhhhh....and the words, "did you water the tree?" have not been uttered.
christmas is our busiest time of year and when i come home from decking everyone's halls,
i don't feel like decking my own. i really don't.
so this year i set myself FREE and just spent a few minutes putting out a few of our favorite things.
the red garland that camden finger knitted hangs from the chandelier instead of a tree...
when i tell this story, people tell me they wish they could do that too,
but they don't know how to change traditions that mean so much to so many.
that's hard. i know. because, tradition.
for our family, it all started with the selflessness and generosity of my parents.
we can't choose our parents, but we can choose how we parent.
we can be people who choose helping others over buying stuff we don't need.
we can be people who choose time spent together over time spent shopping.
we can be people who choose adventure over consumption.
we can be people who choose how we live...
i came that they may have life and that they may have it more abundantly. - Jesus