Sunday, December 18, 2011

How many Christmas gifts should your child get?


Today is our big shopping day.

Patrick came home last night from college, right as Jim and I were headed out to a big, beautiful Christmas party. We were so excited to see him that we waited around to visit a little before we left, and at one point he summed up my own thoughts when he said, “Wow, I can’t believe Christmas is already here…” Me either.

Since Christmas shopping is on my mind today, this headline caught my attention when I got online to glance over the news, Why my kids won’t get any gifts this holiday season. Of course I couldn’t resist clicking on to read more.

It turns out, that this brief article was written by a London-based writer who has two boys under the ages of five. She basically shares her struggle to keep her young boys sweet and untouched by society’s blatant commercialization of this holy time, and she openly wonders, “how many more years we have left,” before her boys catch on and they lose this “innocence.” It’s not that she’s against giving her little boys presents, but she’s intent on teaching them the true spirit of Christmas in these early formative years.

Last year, Americans spent $450 billion on Christmas. The shopping frenzy that is a part of this season makes all of us parents worry about the powerful pull toward the shallow, material version of Christmas. It’s something for all of us to think about.

How do you teach your kids to be more excited about the gifts they give, then the gifts they receive?

imagesCAFLIBQN photo: Google images

In our home

From the time our boys were little we talked about getting three special presents on Christmas.

“What are the three presents you’re asking Santa for?” I would ask.

This simple idea of three presents came from the Three Wise Men and their gifts for Baby Jesus and I think it  offered a nice “boundary” in their minds about presents; it forced the boys to think about what they truly wanted before they blurted out their latest whim. And even though there were additional stocking stuffers and other presents from family members, (and over the years, even a few extra gifts here and there) this idea of the “big three” still stands.

Recently, I became aware of This Important Website. If you’re interested in ways to enlarge your family’s views about giving to others, check it out.

And before I head out to shop with my guys on this glorious, sunny day I’ll leave you with these lovely words:



And There’s still time ...

If you would like to try to put some of these words on an “old sign” you should check out this tutorial on the Funky Junk website. She’s an amazing DIYer talent and she has so many creative ideas for decorating your home over there.

Don’t you think a rustic sign with a meaningful message would be a unique Christmas gift for someone on your list?

Have a beautiful day my friends!



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