From THIS POST, I mentioned that we only give our kids three gifts at Christmas and I told you I would elaborate on how we do that.
From all my conversations with moms in my circle, everyone wants to enjoy their families and lower stress around the holidays.
Holiday’s shouldn’t be stressful. They should be sweet. Holiday’s should be something we look forward to. When we have too high expectations on ourselves WE MAKE IT STRESSFUL. And I know that one way moms do that is by thinking that their kids need tons of gifts for Christmas.
Kids need YOU for Christmas. But not just at Christmas time, all year round.
Christmas is a season, not just a day of unwrapping gifts. It’s a season filled with all the fun things to do- like cookies, lights, navitivites, reading, advent, ornament making, snuggles, movies, decorations, music, Christmas smells, and the list can go on and on and on. But the most important thing about the season is pointing your kids to CHRIST and the miracle of the reason we even celebrate at all.
All the excess gift buying really has nothing to do with the most important thing of the season- God’s love for us and His plan for the world.
But I DO LOVE buying gifts for my kids. LOVE IT. I love taking the time to pick something out for them. I LOVE thinking about what they might like and enjoy. BUT- I don’t stress myself out over it.
3 Gifts Each
- We only buy three gifts each for them
- We don’t do the categories that some people do (want, wear, read, need). We simply just buy 3 gifts of whatever we choose. I don’t like doing the categories because sometimes my kids do NOT need clothes. I have more fun just choosing three gifts for them.
- It makes me CHOOSE
- When you do three gifts each, you have to make choices. There are TONS of things that I could get for my kids. But, when you set a rule for yourself to only get three you have to make some CHOICES. It is hard, but it is good for us. Rather than going through and just grabbing and buying everything they might like. I start with a list of ideas. Then, I ponder and think out of that list what would be the top three that a particular child would like. It is probably actually harder for me, because I have to really think about it and eliminate ideas. But, it is good because it makes me stop and really consider each kid and practice self control to not overbuy. It is MUCH MORE FUN to not overbuy at Christmas as opposed to overbuying 🙂
- Experiences over THINGS
- We are firm believers in gifting our kids “experiences/memories” over THINGS. I don’t want my kids to be attached to “stuff and material” things in this world and the only way to teach that is to model that. If I tell them not to be attached to stuff or that it is not about the gifts at Christmas and then I go buy them gobs of material things for Christmas, then that sends a conflicting message. I have to model what I say. We did this last year. We gifted our kids Silver Dollar City season passes, so they opened 2 gifts on Christmas and then their last gift was a season pass. They LOVED it. We have went several times this year and the kids have thanked us multiple times for the gift. Just the other day, one of my kids piped up and asked if we were going to get them tickets or passes to something this year for Christmas. SCORE for us!!! That means what we’ve been telling them is sinking in. YAY!!! Memories over Stuff! They are desiring and looking forward to the experiences/memories as a gift. So, we already set the expectation for them. They don’t have to have a “toy” to unwrap. (And yes, one of their gifts will be an experience for sure. I have a post coming about that. ) (Not to mention- rooms stay cleaner when there is LESS STUFF in it!)
- I don’t feel guilty about buying only 3 gifts
- I heard one mom say that she would feel “bad” if she only bought her kids three things. I had a hard time identifying with her. It was a mom who prided herself in getting her kids MOUNTAINS and HEAPS of STUFF on Christmas because she thought that KIDS need it for Christmas to be “magical”. That’s totally fine for her. But totally not my jam. (Christmas isn’t about magical feelings– it’s about Christ– and that is where the magic comes in all year round- not with how many gifts you unwrap.) I do not feel guilty AT ALL about only buying three gifts.
- Why not??
- When I don’t excessively give them “stuff” at Christmas, it gives me more opportunity throughout the year to do nice things for them. For example, if a kid does something really well, achieves a goal (like meeting a reading chart goal or something) , or has just been displaying some really great character, I can scoop them up and go out and treat them to a prize of some sort without feeling like I’m buying them “stuff” all the time. I like to spontaneously bless my kids. But, if I get them everything under the sun once a year, it doesn’t leave any room for random purchases throughout the year. So, I don’t get them everything at Christmas so I have room to spontaneous gift them throughout the year. They tend to remember these better anyway because it leaves a sweet memory for them. AND it helps to keep the focus on Christ at Christmas. So I don’t feel guilty about doing less “stuff” for Christmas.
- I’d rather have time to LOVE on my family in this season.
- When your focus isn’t on the gifts and having to spend all of your time shopping. It gives you more time to do all the things that you wish you had time to do LIKE watch a movie, make candy, decorate a random tree, and really pour effort into Advent activities.
Oh my word… This post is getting super long and I’m starting to ramble and I still have more to say…… Sheesh.
Let’s make these thoughts To Be Continued…………