I don’t know about you, but fun and variety is often in short supply when you’re in the trenches of parenting. Even though I’ve tried to make our home life as entertaining as possible—especially around the holidays—there have been times when all I could muster was a forehead kiss before bed with the promise of reading double the bedtime stories tomorrow. Sometimes, this mama just doesn’t have an ounce of energy left to give.

You know what else is often in short supply for a lot of parents? Money. For many of us, the economy has affected us in so many ways. From increased prices everywhere to tightened budgets, sometimes, it’s all we can do to cover the basics. During the holidays, the reality of your financial situation can hit particularly hard.

This holiday season is going to be different in a lot of ways for a lot of people. Considering finances alone, it might feel like the holiday season has lost a bit of its magic. At least for me, I have to keep reminding myself of this one truth: Our kids won’t remember what they got for Christmas this year. Our kids will remember how they felt this holiday season.

We don’t have to have towering heaps of gifts under the tree or the perfect decorations to create lasting memories this year. Christmas magic isn’t contingent on how much you spend. The spirit of Christmas lives and thrives even when resources are low. 

Wanna know how? It’s this word that literally costs nothing to execute—connection. What our kids really want from us is to be a present parent. Quality time is the name of the game this year, folks. So, maybe that looks like. . .

Creating brand-new holiday traditions. 

Taking the ordinary and putting a special spin on it (think regular dinner, but adding a little candlelight). 

Being intentional about spending more quality time together. 

We will make it through this holiday season, friends. And who knows? It might be the best one yet.