Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Works for me Wednesday-Christmas gift giving

Years ago, when our kids were little, we had decided that we were going to be somewhat methodical about Christmas with our family. We would have so many new items after spending Christmas with the grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins that we would practically have to rearrange our house. Our goal was to teach them the real meaning of Christmas, along with the blessing that they have so much family to love on. It was hard to get the focus where it should be. On this note, we decided that each of our children would receive 3 gifts from us, none from Santa(yeah, we're mean like that). We let them know that Jesus received 3 gifts from the wise men, we will give them 3. We do not say anything about what they may get from the extended family.

I have heard some families take the 3 gifts and look at the symbolization of the 3 gifts from the magi. Gold (a gift for a King) something the child really wants, frankincense (a gift for a priest) something for the child's faith, and myrrh (a burial ointment) something for the child to share as Christ gave to us as he died and rose again. This is neat, we just don't go that far.

Our kids have been very aware of the 3 gifts. We tell them it's 3. No more, no less. In years past when money was tighter, the gifts were smaller, if we had the money for larger gifts, we were happy to get them. This year, the three gift thing was especially helpful. We became aware of some need in our community and Knight and I wanted to help, but we also wanted to give the kids the option of helping. We sat them down and let them know of the need and gave them an option of giving up one or two of their gifts they would get from us, in order to help others. All of my kids opted to give up two of their gifts and have the money normally spent on them, spent on others.

I have been asked by a couple people this year if I get stressed out making everything fair or even when getting gifts for the kids. Honestly, it is never a concern. Everything is fair. They know what to expect, and when given the option to give, they know it will be a sacrifice. Their lack of those other gifts were really not noticed. They had helped pick out those gifts for the ones we helped, and they knew it was coming.

We have already opened our family gifts from each other. With Christmas eve and Christmas day given to our extended families we have made our own family tradition of not focusing on "the" day. We celebrate Christmas all month, the presents are just one small part of it.

Works for me Wednesday is hosted by Rocks in My Dryer. For some really great tips, go there.


Amy said...

This brings tears to my eyes. Don't judge me De! Your kids sound so much like mine. I am always so pleased when they willing sacrifice for others. They have huge hearts and it shows. Doesn't mean they are always perfect, but you know what I mean!

This is a great idea and saves so much of the stupid headaches we cause ourselves by forgetting what Christmas is truly about! Our family this year is doing nothing as far as gifts except for my mother. Not because she wants anything, but it will be her first Christmas without my dad and she always buys us way too much as it is so we are going to spoil her for a change.

Oh, oh! Guess what I got in the mail yesterday? My Reader's Digest!!!! Thank you so much for the gift. We will read it cover to cover and pass it on!

Merry Christmas to you and your sweet family. And the puppies too!

Leeann said...

I have heard this suggestion several times this year. I think it is a fabulous idea.

I got my Reader's Digest yesterday. Thanks!
Merry Christmas!

Shari said...

This is such a great idea. I hope my hubby will like it too, so that we may incorporate it into our home for next year. I have put a link here to your page in my post today so that others might find your great tradition. Happy New Year!