This Christmas I’ve gone back to focusing on taking a more MacGyver approach to things. By MacGyver, I mean making everything more simplistic and relaxed and more focused on people and family traditions rather than the material presents and debts I’ll be stuck with for years to come.
Our traditions start with the decorating of the tree, which we all do together while Christmas carols play on the stereo. Then on Christmas Eve we have dinner in front of the TV and watch Xmas episodes of our favorite TV shows on DVD. MacGyver, Home Improvement, Knight Rider, then we move on to a Xmas movie complete with popcorn and drinks during which we’re all huddled together on the sofa. That usually takes us through to 10:30-11 pm at which time it’s off for a drive around the town to see all the Christmas lights on houses then home to layout the Santa sacks (in our case pillow cases) with drink and cookies and a handwritten name tag on each sack, and then, finally, off to bed around midnight.
My kids are too old for Santa now, but even with Santa aged kids, there are some basic ways you can still MacGyver Christmas starting with the choice of what they want from Santa. Be involved and guide them through the decision to make sure they don’t’ ask for something way out of your budget. I always took care to ensure they only got one main present from Santa with the sack being filled with a handful of cheap 2-5 dollar toys along with the usual candy gifts. I also made Santa’s gift the main present for Christmas because Santa always brings the best gift.
Presents under the tree usually consisted of one present each from me and finished off with presents from other family members such as grand-parents etc. In a case where a gift has multiple parts, they can be given as separate gifts. The example I can think of straight away is something like an Xbox which normally comes with a couple of games included in the pack. Take them out and wrap them separately, 1 present suddenly becomes 3. Even if the main present is from Santa, the others could be under the tree from you. The same thing could go for things like Nerf toys, barbie dolls, anything which needs or includes accessories, make them separate gifts if you can. Presents are for the immediate family..i.e. my kids. Nephews, nieces, aunties, uncles, etc don’t get gifts, they should be happy with my presence, not my presents. Even more so if this is the only time of the year I see them.
Love doesn’t come wrapped in paper, it comes wrapped in your arms.
If you focus on the people you are with at Christmas and not what they are giving you, your Christmas becomes that most special time of the year we keep being told about.
MacGyvering Your Life is a regular series looking at ways we can incorporate aspects of MacGyer’s values, ethics and mindset into our own lives. we encourage feedback and discussion via the comments section below and if you would like to contribute with your own article you can contact us here.