I don’t know about you, but fun and variety have been in short supply around our house since the pandemic started. Even though I’ve tried to make our home life as entertaining as possible given our circumstances, there’s something about quarantining at home that tends to suck out some of life’s fun after nine, long months. (Just ask my four-year-old, who has taken to running around the house in endless circles for fun.)

You know what else is in short supply? Money. For many of us, this pandemic has not only affected our comings and goings, it’s also affected our pockets. Like a lot of the world, our finances have taken a hit as a direct result of the pandemic—meaning my go-to Target runs for some retail therapy have dwindled to basic needs (adulthood can be so boring sometimes). We’ve also thrown a new baby into the mix, and even though they’re small, these little creatures need lots of stuff. 

So, if you’re anything like me, this holiday season is going to be different in a lot of ways—we’re not hanging out with family and friends like we used to; we’re not partaking in all the holiday, crowd-packed frivolity; and we’re certainly not dropping loads of money on gifts because we have no idea what the future holds. As a result, this holiday season seems to have lost a bit of its magic. (Cue sad, dejected music here.) 

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.