WFMW - Christmas in July

This is better titled, "Works for My Mom," but a few of you were interested, so here goes:

Six of my mom's eight grandchildren live quite far away from her. My brother's family and my family have both opted to stay at our own homes for Christmas now that we have children. This is disappointing for my mom, as she (and we) grew up with Christmas Day being a huge gathering of extended family, and especially grandchildren. It also adds stress to the holiday for her because of the extra shopping and shipping of gifts.

We do, however, try to make it home every summer for a family reunion. So, my Mom hosted her first "Christmas in July" for the grandkids last summer. She set up a little artificial Christmas tree in the yard and had gifts and small stockings filled with some Christmas candy (there's a chocolate factory in our town that has Christmas candy year-round) for each of the grandchildren. She keeps the gifts to one or two per child, and generally chooses ones that can fit easily in suitcases for the trip back home. This year the boys each got a set of toy cars (a little bigger than Matchbox size and a new shirt). It is pretty low-key, but a lot of fun to watch all the cousins open presents and play with new toys together. (Mom still sends family gifts of home-made goodies or special treats to us in December, just not individual gifts.)

This year there was a LOT of rain before and after we were there, so Mom didn't set up a tree, but the kids still got holiday-wrapped gifts and plenty of excitement.

This little idea is wonderful (for grandmas and moms alike), because we still get to share in a bit of holiday spirit with extended family, Mom doesn't have the added stress and expense of shipping Christmas gifts to all the grandchildren at a time of year when budgets and time are really tight, we get to travel "home for the holidays" at a time of year when it is not as chaotic or weather-deterred as it is in the wintertime, and we get to build traditions within our own little families at home on Christmas.

So, Christmas in July - works for my mom!

(Thanks, Shannon, for hosting this each week!)


Gina Conroy said...

Fun idea! We just got a Christmas package from my sister YESTERDAY. There's nothing like an unexpected package to brighten your day!

Anonymous said...

What a great idea! I'm going to remember that one in the future.

rena said...

You'd mentioned that in one of your previous posts and it intrigued me. What a wonderful idea...kinda like when people have birthdays too close to Christmas to be celebrated, they have their birthday's in June. Kudos to your mom

T.S. Eliot said...

So fun! You're mom sounds so fun and clever. It reminds of summer camp, when we would each draw at name and make a present for that person for Christmas in July, complete with carols, a huge tree, hot cocoa, the works.

sweet mama entropy said...

Mom's are brilliant aren't they? At least that's what I'm always saying about my mom. So why is it that I don't feel brilliant yet? Maybe mother brilliance only comes when your child looks back at you and says "well it worked for my mom." That'll be the day!