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Episode 11: Holiday Traditions

0:00:17 - Cyndi
Oh my God, you started already.

0:00:20 - Allison
Welcome to another episode of Kintsugi Conversations. If you guys cannot tell, I basically had to beat my mom into these holiday themed pajamas that she has on Shout out Target.

0:00:33 - Cyndi
The pajamas I have no problem with because they're very comfy, cozy, but just, oh my God, you're starting Christmas already.

0:00:40 - Allison
So one of us is a holiday person, as you guys can tell. I'll let you guys guess which one.

0:00:44 - Cyndi
Well, I don't know who you could be talking about.

0:00:47 - Allison
One of us tends to be a little bit of a scrooge up in here, but that's all right, I have converted you a little bit.

0:00:54 - Cyndi
Well, because of you, and now the grandkids, that makes the holidays fun. But as for me, so new.

0:01:01 - Allison
Let's just say we are going to be talking all about the holidays today and you know what? Like, I think part of the reason why I love the holidays now is because I had the best experience as a child on the holidays, and I'm sure you guys have seen, you know, the little quote that floats around on social media this time of year. It says something like now that I'm an adult, or now that I'm on myself, I realize that, like, all the holiday magic I experienced as a child was because of my mom who made it happen. And now that I am a mom, I realized that, like, that was all you. You know. The fact that I have such amazing memories of the holidays growing up and I think that's why I love the holidays so much is because they always truly did feel magical, thanks to you.

0:01:46 - Cyndi
I know you felt that way, so kudos to me.

0:01:49 - Allison
So how was it, mom, to kind of create that holiday magic? What was your kind of mindset every year when this, when this time came around, and how did you go about it?

0:01:59 - Cyndi
I think for me, I always, in everything with my life, want you to have everything that I wished for as a kid. Growing up, you know all of the, the feels and the knowing how much your love and just all of all the feels that I didn't have growing up. I always wanted you to have all of that, no matter it was Christmas, easter, your birthday, whatever. I just wanted you to feel all of that. So for me to get to create those memories for you and to see, like the excitement you know, in your eyes on Christmas morning and just I mean just how happy you were and how thrilled you were. That just made it all so much worthwhile for me. So I didn't really like all the decorating and whatnot and your dad was not a toy put together person, not at all At all. I would stay up all night putting all of your stuff together and arranging it over the tree and just just everything. It just you know it just made it so special to see the wonder in your eyes when you came downstairs Christmas morning.

0:03:04 - Allison
So of course I remember you know a lot of holidays growing up, but just because our listeners, you know, weren't there to participate in the magic with me, walk us through like kind of like Christmas Eve, christmas day, way back in the nineties in the Madness household.

0:03:21 - Cyndi
Well, it started out usually in your day. It did start this one when you were you know little, not like toddler age, because I would never let him take you anywhere by himself.

That's another podcast episode for another day Exactly, but even like you know, maybe like five, six years old Christmas Eve he would always leave the office early and you guys, I will take you to you and I will have lunch at Phipps and then he will come and meet us and you and he would do your Christmas shopping and I would go home Also. And after that was done, we would always end up because at the time sometimes we still lived in Milljewel we would go to the farmer's market and get all of our food and just whatever radius we wanted, and then we would head back to Milljewel. And I remember when you were really really little, though you know it was has we'll start to get a little bit dark and you know you could see like airplanes or whatever in the sky and you would be like I don't want to go home, I want to, and I'm like well, don't you see those lights? That's Santa up there. She would say that.

He's circling and he's waiting for you to get home. So we've got to rush home, get you your bath, get you in bed so you can go to sleep, because he's not going to come if you're not asleep.

0:04:35 - Allison
She had me convince that, like Santa, was pretty much just waiting on me to go to bed like that. Basically, the fate of Christmas rested in my head.

0:04:45 - Cyndi
It worked. You would go home, get that bath, go to bed, sleep. You were out, we were also, I think, as you got a little bit older, I started the tradition of letting you open one gift on Christmas Eve. So before you went to bed, you know, you got to choose. You know, whatever gift that was in Medi-Vos, if it was something big or something small, you could choose one gift to open on Christmas Eve. So I think you kind of look forward to that because you're like gosh, if I got this, you know, I don't know what else I'm going to get in the tomorrow morning. So that was that. And then Christmas morning you would wake up bright and early and come. You go downstairs first to check out whether or not there was stuff there, let me confirm, and then you would come, you know, brush it in that room. Santa's been here, santa's been here, come on, come on Get up everybody.

So you know we would drag ourselves out of bed where I would, because I've been up all night putting all the toys together, so I was exhausted. But you know we would come in and you would be like just ripping, tearing things open, just having the best time. So while you then played with your toys and whatever you know, I would make breakfast and then, you know, shower, try to clean up some of the mess you had made, and as they went on, you know you would finally get dressed, continue to play with your toys and then your dad and I, and usually grandma too, would be there and we would start making a Christmas dinner. And Christmas dinner consisted pretty much of same things Thanksgiving, you know turkey, ham, collard, greens, potato salad, lamb chops and some kind of cake or dessert. We've gotten from somebody else, right?

0:06:18 - Allison
None of us baked and I know like all the family would start to trickle in and all that. So then we'd have that big Christmas dinner. I mean, that's pretty much what I remember, you know, from growing up, like the other thing I remember is that, of course, my dad would throw like a pretty big Christmas party at our house. This is after we moved to Atlanta. Every year he was going to have the big Christmas party at our house and it would be when I say big, like 300 to 500 guests, like really big, and I always really looked forward to that. There would be like celebrity performances. It was a whole thing.

0:06:52 - Cyndi
It was a whole concert. Do you remember the year that we had, like the Santa sled and the rain? Yeah, there were live reindeer outside of my house.

0:07:00 - Allison
I think I was probably about nine or 10. Like it was a whole thing. So I remember the big Christmas party every year and then, once I got a little bit older, I was probably Probably like 11-ish when we started this and we did it all the way up until I think I left for college. We would go to New York every year like the week before Christmas and it's been like a long weekend and it was always so much fun because, of course, new York is like super festive and all the lights and the decorations are up and we would go up there and like do holiday shopping.

This is like after you know, I had already spoiler alert guys, make sure your kids are not listening to this part. I had already found out Santa was not real at that point and so I was picking out my own gifts and we would go up to New York for me to kind of do my Christmas shopping and it was, you know, a family trip. We would all go and we would walk the streets and complain about being cold, even though we loved it and secretly enjoyed it.

We would do that every year, you know, before Christmas, and you know Christmas was usually just how she described it was, you know, full of like family and presents and all the things. And I had amazing you know memories growing up of Christmas. Like she said, christmas Eve getting to open a gift, like I remember strategically trying to pick, like which gift should I open. I remember like okay, like maybe I should go for the bigger swan I'm like you know that could be shoes Like maybe I should go for a smaller one. And I was always trying to like, okay, I wonder if my Furby is in this box. Like I wonder if this is the box that has the Furby. If I open this one, I would always pick incorrectly, though, like every year without fail, I feel like I would always end up opening the box that had like socks and you don't have to say, you know, like, oh great, you know but it was still really exciting and fun and just like got me ready for the next morning.

So now that I have my own kids, mom, how has Christmas been for you as a grandparent?

0:08:57 - Cyndi
It's been fun, but I did forget one thing. We would always to read the book the microphone Christmas before you went to bed on Christmas.

Eve every night we did that. But as a grandparent it's probably just like reliving your childhood again, because now I get to like just buy everything in the world and she does for the grandkids. The only thing is it's kind of hard because, just like with you, I bought you stuff all the time and even with Harper and Jackson I'm always buying them clothes or, you know, toys or trucks or something. So sometimes it's a little hard to find stuff that they want. So pretty much I'll just kind of get stuff like you know either that I saw they really really liked and they broken, or you know, when Alison was little she had like a whole apartment in her bedroom where she had, like you know, a section that was her bed and then she had a section that was like her living room with a little mini sofa. She had a little kitchen where she had her little kitchenette stuff and then she had like a little laundry room. So you know, now my goal is to recreate that for Jackson and Harper.

0:09:59 - Allison
Yeah, you know, it's funny now like having the holidays now as a parent myself, because, first of all, I do feel like a lot of the pressure to make it magical falls on me. Dj is kind of like my mom where I mean like he enjoys the holidays but he's not like that huge holiday person like I am where he's kind of helping me to like plan and decorate and whatnot, like he'll show up and participate, but that's pretty much about it. So I am a decorator like I do, right. So I do feel like a little bit of pressure to like make it magical. I'm trying to think like from my childhood, the things that I still do with my kids, that my mom and my dad did with me, is I do let them always open a gift on Christmas Eve.

That is a tradition that has carried on. We also do read the night before Christmas on the night before Christmas. But you know, a lot of the holiday traditions, unfortunately and I guess fortunately in some ways have been impacted by the fact that we split our time between here and abroad. And so I think gosh Harper is four. She's always spent one Christmas in the United States.

0:11:08 - Cyndi
Yeah, well, one and a half, because we did the Christmas in July thing so that we could have Christmas.

0:11:13 - Allison
Yeah, but it's not quite the same because we didn't decorate and all that. I thought we put up a tree. No, we didn't put up a tree, we just really did gifts. We did gifts in July. But, yeah, she's always put one Christmas in the United States and Jackson, I mean, he's only had one Christmas, but it was not here, it was in Japan. And this year, you know, we will be spending Christmas in the UAE with my husband, and so it's a little bit different. Trying to recreate this magic overseas, especially like living in some countries where Christmas is not even like that big of a deal, but opening the Christmas gift on Christmas Eve, I definitely do that. I definitely do take Christmas stuff overseas with me, and in most countries you can find like some little stuff. But I take like Christmas books and Christmas pajamas and, you know, little stuff with me to help me to still make it magical even when we are abroad.

0:12:03 - Cyndi
Yeah, and for me, since I know you guys aren't going to be here, usually there's a family member that's coming at Thanksgiving, or you have one of your girlfriends that's coming over kind of close to Christmas and I'll always like send a suitcase full of Christmas gifts with them and then typically you come over for New Year's and so there is still like it's still like the holiday, feel like.

0:12:22 - Allison
I feel like, you know, christmas kind of just like spills over into New Year's a little bit, anyway, so okay. So, mom, I wanted for us to list some kind of holiday trends or holiday traditions and say if we would take it or leave it. So basically like if it's something that we will or would or have done or something that we like want no parts of, so I'm going to list them off and we'll both say take it or leave it. And why, okay, all right, so number one, elf on the shelf. Take it or leave it, I can leave it.

0:12:53 - Cyndi
That is a little bit spooky to me. It's spooky because this is no. First of all, the Elf thing is not cute at all. I was a little bit evilish to me. Secondly, you know, this thing just appearing at all these, all these different places is is kind of creepy and it's work to try to remember where to put the thing. And oh, I got to remember to move it tonight. Oh, I can't put it back in the same place again. It's a lot.

0:13:17 - Allison
I say, leave it for that reason. Exactly, If you guys like follow Elf on the tell, Elf on the tell. If you guys follow Elf on the shelf, TikTok, y'all, Eek. It's wild Like these parents are so creative and I love watching what other parents do because it looks like a ton of fun, but it looks like too much work for me.

0:13:34 - Cyndi
So I'm not doing it. It looks like Chucky just popping up out of places to me. I'm not with it.

0:13:39 - Allison
Yes, so we both say no.

0:13:41 - Cyndi
Elf on the shelf leave it?

0:13:43 - Allison
What about church on Christmas Eve? Take it or leave it?

0:13:47 - Cyndi
It looks good on paper, but there's so much other stuff that I got to do on Christmas Eve to get ready for Christmas morning that, while I would love to do it, I just Unfortunately and this sounds so heathenistic don't have the time. Yeah.

0:14:04 - Allison
Did you go to church on Christmas Eve growing up?

0:14:06 - Cyndi
No, no, no.

0:14:08 - Allison
So I also I don't know I'm torn when it comes to Christmas. I'm torn when it comes to church on Christmas Eve, and here is why I would love to go to church on Christmas Eve just to celebrate the birth of Jesus and celebrate the reason for this season. I feel, like so many times, like Christ gets left out on Christmas nowadays, and so I think going to church on Christmas Eve would be a great way to just, like you know, celebrate that and include it. However, especially in the African-American community, we have something that we call CME Christians. Cme Christians are church Mother's Day and Easter Christians, where the only day they do go to church are on Christmas, mother's Day and Easter, and because of that, church on Christmas Eve is packed uh-huh.

Packed, packed, packed, and that's why I honestly like don't want to go, because it's just like too many people there. A lot of churches, though, I've noticed, have started doing like their Christmas celebration before Christmas Eve and so like they won't have church on Christmas Eve but they will have like two or three church services that are Christmas themed in the week leading up to it. And I really like that idea because, first of all, it like spreads out the crowd and, second of all, it acknowledges the fact that people may be putting together toys on Christmas Eve or have family coming into town on Christmas Eve, and it still gives them a chance to celebrate. So I would go for that. But church on Christmas Eve, I think I'm just like so worried about the crowd and, just like with having little kids, like usually I'm trying to get my kids in bed like at six and the service starts at five or six. So, agreed, agreed, all right. Next one Santa Claus, take it or leave it, whew.

0:15:49 - Cyndi
When your kids are little. That's part to me, that's part of the magic of Christmas. You know, I don't care whether your kids, whether you do the whole black Santa or the white Santa. I don't really care one way or the other, but to me that's just part of the whole magic of Christmas, that you know this. You know you were a good girl or a good boy, so you know Santa brought you these gifts.

0:16:11 - Allison
Yeah, I agree, take it for me for Santa.

I do feel like Santa is part of the fun of Christmas and part of like the magical experience of Christmas.

I know that a lot of people feel like if you do Santa, it makes your kids like ungrateful for how hard your family or like their parents work to provide gifts for them. And so what you guys always did and I do with my kids even now, and I think is like a great balance is that gifts from you and dad or other family members were wrapped and gifts from Santa were unwrapped and that's how it was differentiated. And so me and DJ, like you know, some of like the bigger gifts for the kids, like those are from us and we let them know like, oh no, like mommy and daddy got you this, like daddy worked hard to be able to get this for you, but the gifts from Santa will be unwrapped and we kind of just like split it in half and I think that's a good way to kind of do both. You know? Yeah, I agree with that. I'm glad I passed that on to you. That's another tradition that you passed on that.

0:17:12 - Cyndi
I forgot all about.

0:17:14 - Allison
Look at me. Okay, take it or leave it. Gingerbread houses.

0:17:18 - Cyndi
No, leave it. Absolutely. Have no use for it. Don't even like gingerbread. You have got time to build this thing and then it's gonna fall a couple and I'm just gonna get mad and throw the whole thing in the trash. Can so I can leave it.

0:17:31 - Allison
Okay, I agree, leave it. When it comes to gingerbread houses, just because I've never been able to actually construct one and get it to stand Like, I don't know what y'all be doing. I feel like people must like use like hot glue or something, and it's not really edible, cause I always try to like just use like icing and it does not actually stand up. However, I do love Christmas crafts and like making Christmas themed dessert, sort of like little activities with the kids, and so I will do some sort of Christmas craft or Christmas activity, but it won't be a gingerbread house.

0:18:02 - Cyndi
Yeah, couldn't you see Harper getting frustrated at this house? So yeah, it's not gonna hold it. And then Jackson, just because he can.

0:18:08 - Allison
Jackson is probably just looking icing the whole time. So it's just a mess. It's just a mess. All right, secret Santa, take it or leave it.

0:18:16 - Cyndi
I like the idea of Secret Santa, especially if you have a large family, cause I mean, let's face it, people, christmas is expensive. I mean it puts a dent in your pocketbook. So if you've got a large family, I think it's really really cool to you know whether you set a limit or not. That's up to you, know your choice. You all get together and decide about that, but the whole you know it just makes it, makes it for the adults. To me that makes it more kidlike again for you to have some secret. You know somebody buying your gift. You don't know who it is. You buy somebody a gift and it's the secret. Oh, I guess I'm just such a baby I'm not gonna know. Yeah, so that makes it kind of a child life for the adults again. So I take Secret Santa.

0:18:59 - Allison
I love Secret Santa. I think that it is so much fun just to like shop for someone and like keep it a secret and you don't know who has you and blah, blah, blah they don't know who. I think it's fun. I think the whole thing is fun. I love Secret Santa. I agree with what my mom was saying.

I think, like if you have a big family it's a great way, because it does get super expensive and just stressful like buying a gift for everyone and so, as opposed to buying like a small thing for everyone, I think it would be great if everyone just gets kind of like a bigger gift and, of course, like my mom said, like you can set the budget or the cost of the gifts like based on your family. But I think Secret Santa is really fun with big families. I think it's fun if you're like you're doing a classroom Secret Santa or like a workplace Secret Santa. I like it.

0:19:46 - Cyndi
I do too. I think what we should start doing, though, when we do Secret Santa, is underneath the name, like the person puts down, maybe like three or four things that they would like. Yeah, that's what we've done in the past, and that way they still get something that they like and can use, but they don't know what it is.

0:20:00 - Allison
Yeah, because this is like kind of a tangent.

I don't know where you're going. I don't know where you're going. So, yeah, this one Christmas we did Secret Santa as a family. I think that was probably about 16 or 17. So I was like a little bit I was a teenager, you know I was. I had teenager things going on and teenager thoughts and whatever teenager attitude.

So on this particular secret Santa we had our whole family were just faded and we had written down like a little list of like our top three gifts and I think we said that we were gonna spend like between a hundred and a hundred fifty dollars, like on the gift. Like that was the budget, and everyone just had one person so cool. So I think I wrote down like a new pair of UGGs. I can't remember what else I wrote. However, I do know that I did not write down a gift card to have Cirque du Soleil classes and that is what I received for my one secret Santa gift. When I tell you guys that I was so mad it was like rock climbing and all this crazy stuff it's like now, at my age now I'm like, oh, that will actually be kind of fun, but like then I was like who told you I wanted this?

Like okay, You're 16 year old wants to yeah. Yeah, so that was the one kind of bad secret Santa experience I had, but other than that it's always been great.

0:21:22 - Cyndi
Yeah, it's usually fun. Like I said, it's better if you do get something that you do want and can use, because otherwise you just got a bunch of crap that you're like oh, look at this, thank you.

0:21:32 - Allison
You can use a cupcake tin, exactly, exactly. Okay, next on our list, christmas party Take it or leave it.

0:21:39 - Cyndi
I love a Christmas party. Like I said, we grew up but you know, charles and I gave these huge parties, christmas parties every year. People look forward to it. We looked, it was stressful but we look forward to it too and it was a lot of fun. The cleanup part and not so much, but the Christmas party, I think, was fun. I enjoyed that. So having the house decorated and then just you know one thing, the whole thing I take Christmas party.

0:22:05 - Allison
Have you guys listened to our birthday party episode? Because, if you have, you know that I love a party. It doesn't matter what the theme is and she loves Christmas.

0:22:14 - Cyndi
And I love.

0:22:14 - Allison
Christmas. So yeah, christmas party, for sure. It doesn't have to be a huge thing with reindeer's out front, However, I would prefer that it was. It can just be like a game night with Christmas music and ugly Christmas sweaters, but I do love the idea of like having a Christmas party or Christmas celebration goes without saying. If you know me, you know that already. Gosh, yes, advent calendar. Take it or leave it.

0:22:39 - Cyndi
It looks again just like the whole church on Christmas Eve thing. It looks good on paper but to me I just it's a lot, just every single every day having to do something different, and it's a lot. I can leave that one Okay.

0:22:57 - Allison
I actually like Advent calendars. I'm going to say take it so a few years ago, I'm going to say a few. I think this was probably like seven years ago now I'm forgetting how old I am, but it was before me. Indie day had kids and it was just the two of us.

On Christmas we were in Fort Wayne, indiana, and we did like a couples advent calendar for the whole month of December where every day there was like a little couple's activity.

You know that we picked out of the little advent calendar thing that I had created for us and it was things like watch a Christmas movie, make hot chocolate, go look at Christmas lights, like have a game night, put on your Christmas pajamas, and you know it was just it was. I got count down to Christmas with different couples themed Christmas activities and we had so much fun, especially because it was just a sat year, like it gave us something to do and something to look forward to every single day leading up until Christmas. I'm actually thinking about doing an advent calendar again for our family this Christmas in the UAE with just like little things for us to do leading up until Christmas. I think an advent calendar is fun and there are so many different types, whether you want a religious type, whether you want a kind, like I said, for couples, or a children's oriented kind, or even some of them like as opposed to picking activities, they'll have like little treats for every day. I think it's fun.

0:24:19 - Cyndi
So do you think you're gonna just do it for you and DJ? Are you gonna incorporate the kids as well?

0:24:22 - Allison
I think I'm gonna incorporate the kids. Okay, I mean, even though I'd like to do just me and DJ, like the way our life is set up right now, we probably don't have that kind of time, so I'll probably incorporate the kids as well. Like, maybe, like you know, one day will be Christmas cookies, one day will be Christmas. You know, just have a little activity every day and I can like strategically plan it so like the harder or the more intensive things, like on days where I know we're gonna have the time to do it.

0:24:49 - Cyndi
You know a Christmas scavenger hunt, stuff like that, yeah Well for you, especially like having two kids and as active as Harper has been, even when it was just her, I think for you it'll be a good way to kind of pass some time, you know, after school or when they say don't have school, and also just like with the kisses draw that her dad sent her. It's a good way for them to kind of count down to Christmas, Because they are so little.

0:25:13 - Allison
I agree. I agree. I think it makes it fun to build the excitement.

0:25:18 - Cyndi
All right, christmas cards, take them or leave them, it looks good on paper and every year I've always been like oh, I'm going to send out Christmas cards and I never do. And I get the Christmas card, I open it and then it generally goes in the trash. Yeah, Because it's just accumulating stuff. So it looks good on paper. So I take that part, but leave it, because I just don't put in the effort. I'm just lazy. In 2023, paper Christmas cards, leave them.

0:25:47 - Allison
It's a waste. It becomes a waste, I feel like, and I'm sorry. I do love to see all these cute Christmas pictures but, just like my mom said, I may it's like we're really close and you have really cute kids I may keep it on the fridge for about a week and then I'm tossing it right in the trash and it's going to waste, and so I just don't really see the point in sending out a tangible Christmas card. However, I do think that you can do E Christmas cards, and this is what we do every year. Like every year right leading up to Christmas. I'm going to get a bad one. I do always see Christmas cards.

0:26:17 - Cyndi
I got one.

0:26:18 - Allison
I do always send it to you all.

0:26:21 - Cyndi
I have not gotten that one Christmas card.

0:26:23 - Allison
The girls are liar, this one is the liar. I have not gotten that one card. No, so what we usually do around when I say it, you're going to remember, and I'm about to pull up one to show it to you in a second, just because I'm like how do you not remember? So we usually take a picture in whatever country we are in and, well, the week leading up to Christmas I send it out and I'm just like Merry Christmas from the Joneses in Japan or in wherever. That was just for me, no.

0:26:51 - Cyndi
I got it. Yeah, I took a nice picture of my mom.

0:26:55 - Allison
Merry Christmas. No, and I usually use Canva and write the words onto the picture. You thought I was just listening to you all. I thought I was special. Well, no, that goes to all of our family and friends, and I think that that is a great way to do it.

0:27:11 - Cyndi
I've been doing it now.

0:27:12 - Allison
Oh my gosh, this lady is a hoot. Anyways, the people who want to save it to their camera roll can. The people that don't can just say, oh, thanks so much, merry Christmas, and keep it moving. It's not always the paper and it's quick and easy for me as well. So I don't know. I guess I take it when it comes to Christmas cards, but don't bother praying them out, it's just a way.

0:27:33 - Cyndi
You want me to take it and leave it.

0:27:35 - Allison
Yeah, All right. So exchanging gifts take it or leave it.

0:27:40 - Cyndi
I love giving gifts. I'm not so much into, I, just have a hard time receiving anything. But I love to see the expression on people's faces when they open my gifts, especially when I've gotten them something that they've been I know they've been wanting but haven't taken the time, or whatever had gotten for themselves. I love the expression of seeing them open that. So gift giving, yeah, I'm big on that.

0:28:07 - Allison
So, yeah, I actually feel the same way. I really like to give gifts and I do like to receive gifts as well. But now that I'm a grownup, I guess like and I think I kind of was like getting to this when I was talking about secret sand I would much rather get like the one or two things that I really, really want than get a whole bunch of little stuff that I really don't want and I'm not going to use. So, even though I do like to receive gifts like I really don't care if it's a surprise or if I know about it like for my mom, for my husband, I will honestly like send them a little list like hey, here's five things that I would like for Christmas.

Like, pick whichever one or two you would like to get me, and I would rather that than for you to like go out and try to pick something for me at this point because, like, I might not like it. I don't know how to tell you I don't like it. You've wasted your money, it's going to sit for forever, I'm never going to use it, I'm going to end up giving it to charity. So, yeah, I'd like to receive, but like, I guess, just get me what I want? Is that sound really rude? Not really.

0:29:09 - Cyndi
I mean, even like Derek and I throughout the year, and we do this. Well, I don't do it he always fusses at me, but he does. We keep a running list, like on our Amazon thing, of things that we want. And you know, birthdays, christmas, whatever, we choose things off those lists to get to each other. And that's what you want, because, again, I can buy myself a sweater, you know, just some gloves, and no, that's not what I want. Right, let me?

0:29:39 - Allison
just tell you what leads me into. We have created gift guides, you guys, for basically the whole family. So we've created gift guides for grandparents giving to grandkids, for mothers giving to daughters, for mothers giving to daughters that are younger, for daughters giving to mothers, and for wives giving to husbands. So be sure to check those out if you need help determining what you get for all the people in your life, because we're trying to make it easy for you and make sure that you get something that they want, because nobody wants to get gifts that they just are going to end up returning or giving to charity and why is for your?

0:30:19 - Cyndi
you make an advent calendar for your husband and start putting your gift ideas into calendar.

0:30:25 - Allison
Go to David Yerman.

0:30:28 - Cyndi
Go see.

0:30:28 - Allison
Sue at Louis Vuitton, exactly. Oh my gosh. So what about? And this, so this is the last one, when it comes down to take it or leave it, what about limiting the number of gifts that you get for your kids or you get for whoever? What do you feel? How do you feel about limiting gifts?

0:30:49 - Cyndi
I don't believe there should be a limit, so I can. What is it? Leave it. Leave it, no limit.

0:30:56 - Allison
No limit, no, okay. So I think that this is really just related to like our lifestyle. But when we're overseas, like, I don't really see the point in buying all these gifts, all these toys that we're going to leave here. So I try to limit it to like five per kid and that's not like set in stone. If I see something else and I want to get it for them, I can, but I do try to limit it just cause, like, what are we going to do with all those stuff at the end of the season?

0:31:27 - Cyndi
Yeah, well, that makes sense for you, given your lifestyle. But do you think if you were here that it would be different?

0:31:33 - Allison
I don't know. I feel like they have so much stuff and just to like no, I guess there wouldn't be a limit. However, I'm like, let's not, we don't have to go crazy, crazy, crazy. We can just get them the items that they really would like and we don't have to get them all this random filler stuff.

0:31:50 - Cyndi
Okay, I'm trying to remember the the you that we did do Christmas here for Harper. We went crazy, because I do most of the shopping because you guys, you guys got here like a couple of days before Christmas and I was pregnant.

0:32:04 - Allison
You did most of it. Okay, you went wild. Well, I do know a lot of parents will do for their kids for Christmas. They'll do something to wear something, to read something, you want, something you need. And why? Look at her face? You guys can't see her face. I'm not even watching, but my mom obviously is not fan of that. I think that is a really cute idea, especially if you have older kids, like if I have, like an 11 or 12 year old kid clothes or a necessity of life.

0:32:33 - Cyndi
That should not necessarily be a gift?

0:32:35 - Allison
Okay, but what if it's something that they to wear, is like something nicer, like what if they wanted like a specific pair of like expensive sneakers or something like that is something to wear, something to read, something you want, something you need.

0:32:50 - Cyndi
I don't think I can get with that program.

0:32:52 - Allison
I think that it's cute and I think I could see myself doing it when the kids are like teenagers and I could also see myself. I didn't do it to you. I think that it's a good idea, okay, and it limits just having a bunch of unnecessary stuff in your house, and I could also see myself when they're older, like doing the something you want, something, you need something to wear, something to read, and then also doing like a trip, like right after Christmas, and that's like part of the big gift.

0:33:17 - Cyndi
Okay, and that's you and your house. I'm doing what I did do with you to that I like and I think you should do with your kids toys that they don't play with anymore, or let them choose toys to give away to charity. Yeah, to make room for the new toys I did that with you.

0:33:36 - Allison
I have seen people will like get a red bag and they'll tell them that they're filling Santa's bag and when Santa brings them their new toys, Santa will take that bag of toys to give to other kids. I thought that was very cute.

0:33:46 - Cyndi
I remember having you go through and get rid of some of your toys to make room for new toys, so that's a good idea.

0:33:54 - Allison
Yes, Well, regardless of how you feel about gifts, I promise you guys that our gift guide is packed full of actual good gifts for the whole family. So be sure to check that out. It will be linked in the show notes, it'll be on our website, it'll be on our social media, it'll be in all the places and we're trying to get it over to you guys early so that you can really use it. You know when you're doing your holiday shopping and it includes a lot of things that we both want as well. So if you would like to send us a gift, don't take it, don't take it, don't take it. I'll be your best friend for life.

But I do have to go back to just saying thank you to my mom because, like I said at the beginning of the episode, behind every magical Christmas is a mom who made it happen. My mom has passed the torch to me, you know, in some ways, although she still does do a lot to make sure that my kids' Christmases are magical too. But, mom, thank you so much for doing so much to make sure that I had magical Christmases every single year.

0:34:53 - Cyndi
Well, thank you for saying that. You know you are so special because, as you get older, things that I did when you were growing up, that I didn't really think that you paid attention to now is coming out that you were listening, you were watching. So that makes me feel really, really good as a mom, yeah.

0:35:10 - Allison
Well, you know, on top of that, guys, what I do have to say and I'm saying this more so for me than for you, and I hope that it speaks to some of you guys too. You know, I did kind of mention that I'm already feeling the pressure when it comes to Christmas and making it magical. So, to all the moms out there, or all of the parents that are feeling that pressure, please be sure to take some time out for yourself this holiday season. Two like make sure you get that self care in and make sure you knew you and make sure that you know that even if you can't buy all the things or do all the things, your Christmas will still be great because, at the end of the day, it's, you know, about Jesus and it's about family, and as long as you guys have that like, you will have the best Christmas ever regardless. So try not to put too much pressure on yourself.

0:35:55 - Cyndi
Also, and when you buy one gift for somebody else, buy one for yourself in there too, exactly Because you deserve it.

0:36:01 - Allison
You earned it, mama, exactly, but be sure to head on over to our Patreon to listen to our extras for this episode. We are going to be talking about the most memorable Christmas gifts we've ever received, and we're also going to be talking a little bit more about how to incorporate Christ into Christmas. If that is something that you're interested in, so be sure to listen. Merry Christmas, merry Christmas guys. Merry Christmas, merry Christmas, merry Christmas guys. Merry Christmas, merry.

0:36:24 - Cyndi
Christmas, merry Christmas, merry Christmas, merry Christmas, merry Christmas.

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