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Monday, October 12, 2009

Christmas ... simplified

With Christmas fast approaching and the many, many, many catalogs starting to arrive in the mail (and email), I got to thinking about how we are going to handle it this year. My kids look through the toy catalogs (if they don't make it into the recycle bin before they see them), and they need EVERYTHING! Even Alex, my 3yo, has shown me 5 or 6 things that he "needs" out of this one toy catalog - today!

Now, once upon a time, we would buy our kids loads of stuff for Christmas. But we discovered that they don't need loads of stuff (even though they want it). Two weeks after Christmas they couldn't name three things that they had gotten. Maybe one. Maybe even two. But never three. Hmmm.

So last year we scaled back ... to three gifts per child. After all, Jesus only received three, why should my kids get dozens? Last year we had a great Christmas. They each got three meaningful gifts instead of a whole bunch of "stuff" we thought they would like. It was hard not to give in to the temptation to pick up just one more thing for them. I would see something and think, "Nick would like this" or "Keira could use this". But I would remember ... only three. Three is enough.

So this year we will be buying only three gifts for each again. I already know what I'd like to get for Keira and Nick (two things anyway). I just need to do a little research, check on prices, and watch for sales. (And, no, I am not a Black Friday shopper. Unh uh. No way. Couldn't pay me to shop on Black Friday! I don't care how good a deal I could get!)

My kids seem to be happier without so much "stuff" cluttering up their rooms. They tend to favor one or two toys anyway, so why do they need all those others when we could pass them along and bless someone else with them? Nick likes to play with his Leapster and few Transformers; Alex plays with his Thomas train almost daily (he's playing with it right now); and Keira is getting too old for toys but she loves to read and be crafty.

Oh, and one other thing we do ... each time they get a new toy (for Christmas, birthday, etc.), they need to give one away. So this year when they each get three, they will each give three away ~ their choice. The only requirement is that it can't be broken (those get pitched); it must be a good toy that someone else could use.

So that's what I think. Leave me a comment and tell me what you think. How do you handle Christmas? Do you spoil your kids with lots of stuff? Or do you spoil your kids with lots of love?

We choose love.

Until next time ... God bless!


Tiffany said...

I love that, such a good idea! My son is only 16 months old, but we are trying to decide how to handle Christmas. I have friends who don't buy for their kids at all, they just get gifts from other family members. I think we've decided to do something similar to you, only a couple of meaningful gifts. Thank you for sharing your plan, it's inspiring!

Kimberly said...

Hi Tiffany,

I believe if you start now while your son is young, it will benefit you (and him) greatly in the long run. He won't know any different!

Thx for the comment and the follow!