I really enjoy shopping for my kids. So Christmas can (and overall historically has been) a challenging time for us. I grew up getting many gifts, Kevin did not grow up this way, consequently, we tangled for several years about gift giving at Christmas. Last year our church participated in the Advent Conspiracy, which gave me much needed perspective. (Take a minute to watch this video - seriously, it will impact your thoughts on this season and the presenCe you give ~ it impacted our gift giving in a big and special way last year)
I want to continue the simplicity of gift giving this year and was inspired by a recent post on my friend Myah's blog. She referenced another blog on gift giving for birthdays and Christmas. This idea rolled around in my head for awhile and then over Thanksgiving we talked to our kids about it.
This year we are simplifying the giving for each other. We will give four gifts, one from each of these categories: Something you want, something you need, something to wear, something to read. I love that it immediately simplified my thought process on gift giving.
Another simplifying idea this year is this: we will give the kids their own Christmas budget. They can only purchase family gifts with this budget. If they don't spend it all, the balance comes back to us, if they go over budget, the overage comes from their own personal budgets. (We will also encourage a "Christmas" line item in their personal budgets and transfer the financial part of gift giving to them next year.)
Also new last year, we did not help them with gift-giving ideas for each other. We reminded them that they know their siblings, and us, better than anyone; they were to use their own mind and their hearts in their personal shopping.
Christmas and gift-giving. Its a journey, and I'm glad to be challenged in it as I seek to keep the manger clear of the clutter of all the stuff we add to this birth. (My friend Janna also wrote a challenging Christmas post, you can read it here.)
Please share your Christmas ideas through your comments!
(I also posted here today on Christmas ~ like I said...I'm back ;)