How Christmas Has Changed Over the Years
Has Christmas changed for the better in the last 30 years? I have been contemplating this question since I had my first child 5 years ago, and started to see Christmas through the eyes of a kid again.
The world of technology has made a huge impact on the way we do everything, Christmas included!! I never imagined when I was a kid, thinking when I’m a mom, I could just click a button to order whatever I needed for the holidays online!
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Here are 5 things that have changed drastically over the years:
As I just relayed my renewed amazement for the online shopping world, I am definitely grateful for this change. I don’t have to bear the craziness of the mall to buy gifts, or deal with the chaotic nature of the the grocery store during the holidays. Instead, I can order everything online and plan ahead while sitting on the couch in my pjs!
Read my recent post How Not to Spend a Fortune this Christmas for tips on shopping and saving money during the Christmas Season!
2. Environmentally Conscious Giving
People are becoming more and more aware of their consumption and the effect that it has on the environment. For instance, a few years back I didn’t think twice about wrapping every present with wrapping paper. Now, I own at least 10 different “Santa sacks” to wrap at least a few presents in.
3. People Consume More
Yes, this is the exact opposite of the last point, but it depends on which movement you belong to. I don’t believe there was a clear eco-movement 30 years ago, but people did in general consume less than today. They received simple things like a sweater, 1 doll, and some chocolate – not 10 toys with more plastic packaging than actual toy!
4. Christmas Entertainment
When I was a kid, the only Christmas movies to watch were the classics: Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph the Rednose Reindeer, The Christmas Story, etc.. Now, every year there are 100s of new Christmas themed movies and many kids shows have a Christmas special.
Kids aren’t the only people who have endless entertainment options. Their mommas now have so many Hallmark and Hallmark-esque movies to indulge in! Pouring a glass of wine and putting my comfiest pjs on after the kids go to bed and watching one of these movies is definitely my biggest guilty pleasure of the holiday season.
5. The Online Presence of Christmas “Cards” (or the complete lack of it)
I grew up in the Suburbs, where everyone and their dog sent a Christmas card to showcase their family. I have to admit that my family wasn’t organized enough to pull this off, but it was a really common notion.
This year, we have received only one Christmas card. My family has created the tradition of taking the Christmas picture, but I do not spend hours sending out cards to our friends and family. Instead, I post it to social media – it’s a huge time saver (and not to mention more environmentally-friendly). And for the most part, everyone (and more) that I wanted to see my family’s picture will see it this way!
And here are a 5 things that I don’t think changed at all:
1. The Magic of Santa
I loved the magical feeling of Santa’s imminent arrival on Christmas Eve as a child. There was no greater feeling of excitement than to imagine how Santa will deliver your gift, whether he will drink the milk, or the possibility that you maybe even see him! My daughter asks everyday, about how Santa will come down the chimney, where his reindeer will wait, and about 50 other questions related to Santa!
2. Ugly Christmas Sweaters and Matching Family Outfits
My mom owned many Christmas sweaters when I was a kid, but the difference from then to now is that it was actually fashionable back then! Today, it’s a joke to see who can come up with the ugliest option – I definitely would have some epic options if my mom kept hers!
And the matching outfits! I love matching Christmas pjs and I want to make it a thing as long as my kids let me! This year I bought them blue and pink versions of the same pjs from The Children’s Place to give them on Christmas Eve (family tradition).
3. Last Minute Shopping and Wrapping
I try to shop early so I can actually enjoy the Christmas festivities, but I always feel like I forget something to the last minute. More generally, so many people don’t even start to shop until now (about two weeks before Christmas). I remember my dad would always end up shopping on Christmas Eve, and now my husband is exactly the same!
And the wrapping of the presents! I would remember when I was a kid, my mom would lock herself in her room for hours wrapping presents on Christmas Eve.
I am usually organized enough to have most shopping completed a few weeks before Christmas, but I can never get my act together to actually have them wrapped before Christmas Eve! This Christmas tradition is one I strive to change, but realistically, who am I kidding?!
4. Christmas Cheer
This term is vague, but the meaning is deep. Every since I was little, there has been and has continued to be an importance of giving during the Christmas season.
People now may be a little less happy than they were 30 years ago, but many are more focused on what’s important during this time of year. What is important is others, and that’s why people give back to the less fortunate more during Christmas than any other time of the year.
Now if only we could keep the “Christmas cheer” attitude year-round, the world would be a better place!
5. Friends and Family
And lastly, the importance of family and friends creating memories. I know it sounds mushy, but it’s true. It was the most important thing back when I was little, and it’s still the most important thing now!
Merry Christmas everyone! Comment with your opinion on what has changed or stayed the same for your Christmas!