It was a risky move – no question about it. We had never tried this before, and I wasn’t fully convinced that it was going to end without weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth.
We chose to have Christmas without any presents.
Yes, I do think we are a little crazy. Because this wasn’t just my husband and I – we included the boys, too. There wouldn’t be a single present under the tree, no stockings stuffed with goodies, NOTHING for Christmas. At least, nothing physical to open. We chose instead to use the money we would spend on so many “things” and instead spend it on an experience for the family.
To be clear, it was a family decision. We sat around the dinner table one evening in late October and talked about what this would look like. And everyone agreed to try it. To focus on time together instead of physical reminders of our love for each other. To trade unwrapping presents for something that will hopefully last forever in our memories. To make a risky move.
I was doing ok with it until about 2 days until Christmas. Then I started panicking just a little about this huge decision we had made, and the fact that there weren’t going to be presents to open on Christmas! It was such a change from our normal routine! I wasn’t sure we would survive the day.
And then Christmas morning came. And after waking up the 10 year old, and reading the Christmas story together, we opened the few gifts from extended family. And no one made any comments about how little they had to open. We took our traditional trip to the movies – and later I heard both boys make comments about how awesome our tradition is. A few blinks, after spending time with friends, and it was the end of the day. And everyone was ok!
How many times have I thought about making a risky move with my team? Trying a new staffing structure. Changing our curriculum. Blowing up our current systems to design new ones. Adding a new team member in leadership. What can I learn from our family’s Christmas this year?
– Take time to discuss your risky move with your team
– Be prepared to have people struggle with your decision. (If they don’t, celebrate!)
– Even when you want to take back your decision, pursue it. You’ll never know the impact it will have if you don’t follow through.
– If it doesn’t work, that’s ok. Just don’t repeat it!
Tomorrow morning we leave for our family experience, and we will get to see more of the impact from our risky move. I can’t wait!