I grew up on a farm in southern Minnesota, so all of my memories lead me right back to that farm. We didn't have a lot of money growing up, so my Mom had to make do with what we had. Our gifts generally consisted of one or two toys and some socks or underwear. I have three siblings, two sisters and one brother, and while it seemed we didn't really need anything, we always wanted!
Of course growing up on a farm meant that you spent the majority of your time outside: in the summer riding your bike, playing in the hayloft, pulling weeds, picking up sticks and rocks or mowing the yard. There was never an idle moment and if there was my parents made sure that it didn't last for long! In the winter we spent a large amount of time outside building snow forts, ice skating or snowmobiling. There was always fun to be had, but most of that time didn't consist of toys at all - we usually had to make our own fun.
My parents didn't ever seem to have time to spend with us - they were always working on the farm or, in my Mom's case, at her job in town. Christmas was a different story though. Since there was no field work to be done, my parents were open to actually spending some time with us and we thrived on it!
Our family's tradition was to open our presents on Christmas Eve before going to midnight mass. We always had ham and scalloped potatoes for dinner and then would start unwrapping! We kids usually pooled our pennies and got my Mom some bath oil beads and my Dad some kind of aftershave, usually Old Spice! In retrospect I don't recall my Mom ever lounging in the tub, but it seemed to my young mind that she should! My Dad would actually get on the floor with us and play! He would look at our toys and take some time with each of us. It is a memory that I will always treasure!
My parents would have a big Christmas dinner and invite all of the people that they knew that didn't have anywhere to go: an Aunt with no kids, the priests from our church, a couple of nuns, a bachelor neighbor; there was always an assortment of random people at the farm for Christmas dinner.
My parents have long-since retired from farming and moved to town. Just this past spring my Dad passed away after a short bout with cancer. The moral of my story is: spoil your kids this Christmas - give them the gift of time! Play with them - when they open their toys be sure to spend time playing with them. They will remember it!
Finding the perfect gift to make your childrens Christmas extra special this year is easy: just visit Walmart's Holiday Toyland! They have in-store events scheduled that are sure to bring a heart-warming smile from your kid!
After you find the perfect gift, but you're worried about how you can pay for it, use Walmart's layaway program - it's free and won't cramp your budget! You can find out when your favorite Walmart is having their event by clicking HERE.
What is your favorite Christmas memory?
Disclosure: I am participating in a compensated event through Sverve and Walmart, however the opinions expressed herein are my own.