Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Fewer Gifts Means More Thought

Last year I told Bryan that starting with this Christmas (2012) the girls would now get just three gifts from us instead of an undetermined number.  It gets overwhelming year after year to see way too many gifts piled up under and next to the tree on Christmas Eve.   We decided that three gifts makes perfect sense since Jesus was presented with three gifts by the wise men.

For about three years I have been cutting back on what I buy for the girls and every year I find myself on Christmas Eve taking a few of the presents I had brought for the girls and setting them aside for later because there was simply too much under the tree once gifts from my parents, my brother and other family members were added to the mix.  It seems like the more the girls get the less interested they are in any of what they got.  I'm convinced that it can't be a good thing to have so many gifts that you whine about having to open all of them.

I experimented with the stockings last year.  Instead of testing the strength of the sock hooks I use to hang our stockings on the mantle, I decided at the lat minute that each of the girls would get the following in their stocking: 1 candy or treat item, 1 toy, book or DVD, 1 faith based item, 1 candy cane and a $5 gift card to Target.  I was concerned that the girls would be disappointed that the stockings weren't filled to the brim, but instead they were quite content with what they received and actually played with the things they received.  Going forward I'll be sticking with this five item stocking stuffer list.

The three Christmas gifts idea seems easy when you think about it--just buy three gifts and you're done, but I'm finding that it requires me to put more thought into what I'm buying.  Rather than just buy several things each of the girls wants, I have to stop and think about what I should buy and whether or not what I select will be the best choice.  I have determined that each of the girls will get one gift that kind of skirts the three gifts idea a bit.  They will all get a package with several books as one of their gifts.  The girls love to read [Katie just likes to chew on them and tear pages] so I know they'll be happy with a box of books.  I am now down to my last gift pick for Madeline and Ellie.  It's just a matter of picking that final item.  Oh, and as much as I hate doing it, each of the girls will get one small $10 or less item from Santa which will likely be a book or a small toy.  I can't express how much I dislike the Santa farce.

So overall, I'm finding that what I thought would be so easy is a bit more difficult than I had imagined.  I do feel a lot better knowing that I'm almost done shopping for the girls and I already have most of what I purchased wrapped.  I suspect this three gift limit will get easier over the years as I get used to buying them less.

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