Thursday, October 25, 2007

Would you rather...

This has been the view from my front window for the past few days- grey and dreary. Granted, we really need the rain but the endless lack of sunshine is really starting to get to me. But with my desire to make this winter a better one, I was reminded of a little game of sorts the kids and I play when taking long walks. We refer to it as "Would you rather...?" We often set off with a thermos of water and a portable snack and walk along the the fitness trail that the local college maintains for its cross country track students. It is a great walk in the woods on wide maintained paths that leads to a beautiful lake. It usually takes 2 to 3 hours to complete the walk so by the time we are back to our neighborhood we are all dragging our feet. To take our minds off our tired legs and feet we play our little game. We take turns asking silly questions starting with the words "Would you rather..." and then we each give an answer. Most of the time our questions revolve around something gross ("Would you rather eat an earthworm sandwich or a bug milkshake?" Worm sandwich for me, bug milkshakes for the kiddos.) or something scary ("Would you rather be eaten by a shark or jump off a building with no parachute?" We would all jump.) but it takes our minds off our weary bodies and makes the last bit of our walk fly by. Not to mention we get to know things about one another that we would otherwise not know.

So today, I asked myself, "would you rather mope about and grump the day away, or throw open the windows and enjoy the pitter-patter of the rain on the leaves?" Today I am opening the windows and listening to the rain. No grumpiness allowed!

I have also been thinking about Christmas and the mountain of presents that usually comes with it (and the headaches and money wasted and unappreciated gifts). I have been thinking of starting new traditions and creating a more joyful atmosphere for the season. I came across this post while blog-hopping today and one of the ideas for gifts for children really stuck with me- Four Gifts: Something you want, something you need, something to play with and something to read... I love this idea and plan on running it by The Gaming One and the kiddos to see what they think about it as a new tradition.

What are your traditions to make the holidays meaningful? I am open to new ideas.


DAWN said...

Oh, I love the 4-gifts idea. That is brilliant. It cuts down on the whole over load thing that usually occurs in our house (it is disgusting sometimes, I promise).

rupestur said...

Very cool perspective change, Amanda.

I tend to cope with the holidays by enjoying the hell out of Autumn's treasures, not thinking about Thanksgiving until the day before, and not thinking about Christmas until Winter Solstice. Then I am extra freaked out for a very potent, very short time. (I am not at all condoning this irrational behavior.)

The 4-gifts idea rock my socks off-- another idea I had was to stop buying/making each of my parents multiple items, but just make them each one really nice thing. They'd totally get that. Perhaps this year I won't be speed knitting with liquor and tears on Christmas Eve.

Anonymous said...

That is a nice idea, the 4 gifts thing. I really like the last part of it.

Glad you decided to throw open the windows instead!

I guess our traditions that just sort of came about are: shopping for a Christmas tree around my birthday & our big Christmas Eve party.

diane said...

I have always made my kids take a tag from the giving tree offer by the salvation army, must be a child close to their age. Usually they have to buy something they want too and wrap it and take it back to the store. My kids are all older now and it has taught them they have to also give back to others.

urbanknitrix said...

I am so happy to see the change in the leaves, but NOT the weather. I have tagged you for seven randome things @

melinda said...

We've always had good Christmas books full of excerpts of longer stuff. A lot of it is eighteenth and nineteenth century, a nice foil to the shallow, commercial Christmases in this country. We read a story or two every night. They're so simple and nostalgic.

If you can find it, get a copy of "A Child's Christmas in Wales." It's out on DVD, and never fails to remind me that good holdiays are really all about the small stuff.