Giving Only Three Gifts for Christmas

This post was originally published on December 24, 2012, and has been updated to share once more during the holiday season.

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The family tradition I remember the most growing up was opening one small gift on Christmas Eve.  My brothers and I would be SO excited about this and would go crazy tearing that gift open only to find something simple like socks or a pajama set just to work our nerves :)!  It was still so much fun and something I’ll always remember about Christmas with my mom.

As I got older, I found that I didn’t quite like the gift-giving part. I’m sure I sound like the Grinch right now or you’re probably thinking “yeah, right”…but I came to understand that my mother sacrificed a lot during this time of year to make sure we received everything we wanted for Christmas. I’ll always be so thankful for that but I wish I could go back and tell her that it was the time together, the cookie baking, the laughing and “cutting up” that meant so much more…it’s actually why Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday (no gifts involved).

I wonder how many other families go / went through this sort of thing every year.  Instead of focusing on what Christmas is really about, we focus on the gift giving part, making sure we get everything on each list.  Oftentimes, we spend money we don’t have, or spend just to spend because it’s “that time of the year”.

Now that we have a child of our own, we wanted to start our own tradition and do something that would keep with the spirit of Christmas but would also keep us from getting carried away since we, of course, want, intend and strive to give our child(ren) the world!

ALSO READ:  Simple, Cute & Inexpensive Gifts for Your Child’s Teacher(s)

So for Christmas this year, and every year, our child(ren) will get THREE GIFTS…just like Jesus!

“On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.” (Matthew 2:1-12, NIV)

Now, they won’t be getting gold or anything of that caliber; they aren’t Jesus, after all!  But they will get three great, heartfelt gifts.  We’ll attempt to get them: 
Something for FUN
Something to LEARN and
Something that they NEED.
We’ve found that sticking to that particular list isn’t always easy but we’ll still get only three gifts, even if all three gifts are in the “something fun” category.  It’s just that simple!  
Do you think our child(ren) will be missing out on getting everything their hearts desire like all the other kids on Christmas? I’m certain they won’t.  Our goal is to strive to provide throughout the year so that we don’t get to this point (Christmas) and feel that we have to overload them with gifts just because that is what’s expected.

Overall, I really just want Christmas to be about SO much more than gift giving for my little family. I’d like for it to actually be about Matthew 1:18-25, Matthew 2:1-12, Luke 1:26-38 and Luke 2:1-20, as well as giving to people that are in need, spending time with family / friends and just loving one another!  

Who knows, a few years from now we may look back on this and think that it’s silly or just isn’t working for us.  But for now we’re going to run with it!  *Special thanks to the best sister (in-law) ever who introduced me to this neat idea!*

Happy Holidays,

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