Last year at this time, my children and I were jumping from one glorious activity to another to help us celebrate the Christmas season. We were almost too busy! This year 5 out of the 5 annual events have been canceled. When I say annual events, I mean an entire Christmas parade has been canceled, a military family train ride, a visit to a church down the road in which the congregation recreates the city of Bethlehem, even our own church nixed the children's Christmas program. Poof! All have been canceled due to financial hardships. I feel as though the Grinch has a sack of all of these holiday goodies in his cave.
Of course we have our own family traditions, some of which have changed and been altered, because of moves. We have our Advent wreath, and our decorations, and our lights, wonderful time spent with family. Last night I found a wonderful Christmas concert. I was thrilled because it included 6 choirs, a jazz ensemble, and chamber orchestra, complete with pipe organ. The children were on board for the first 30 minutes, and less than enthusiastic after the chamber orchestra played (they did not think it was quite jazzy enough) and the promise of hot cocoa did not appear at intermission, but promised after the concert which would have been almost 2 1/2 hours of sitting quietly. (We had to leave a bit early, 2 1/2 hours turned out to be too much to ask).
I am wondering if we are the only community that seemed to tighten the purse strings this year, and wonder what sort of creative and wonderful ideas you have for creating or carrying on Christmas traditions.