Here are some of our reasons:
- We don’t need all that stuff.
- We wish for the focus of Christmas to be on serving others, giving of ourselves because He gave Himself to us.
- We believe that we have been given an abundance so that we may, in the name of Christ, share with those who have need.
- We simply can not justify spending hundreds of dollars on frivolous things we don’t need when there are so many who have true needs that remain unmet.
- Remember Laura and Mary being excited over a piece of candy and a new tin cup? We desire that for our children. (And you know what? Our children are excited and grateful for things that most American children feel entitled to and/or take for granted.)
Gifts for kids
We have a plan.
Each year we purchase two gifts for each of our children.
- a book or CD that we think they will particularly enjoy
- a gift of something that they are passionate about – For example, last year Carter (8) received an army hat, boots and canteen, the two younger girls (5 and 7) received princess dresses and Alyssa (10) got a microscope.
In addition, our children draw names and each child purchases a gift for one of their siblings.
Often our children purchase gifts for more than just their one ‘assigned’ sibling because they know something that sister/brother would love. We love to see their excitement about giving to their siblings.
We shop online.
We do 95% of our shopping online.
- We don’t have to drive around town, try to sneak gifts into the cart when the kids aren’t looking or have baby sitters available.
- There is little temptation to purchase items not on your list.
- You can actually find the items that you’re trying to find.
We don’t worry about money.
I’m not talking about spending more than we have budgeted, but rather not trying to keep what we spend on each child ‘even’.
Our one year old may fully appreciate a $5 set of stacking cups, but we might spend $20 on a pair of binoculars for the 8 year old. The goal is something that our child will use and enjoy, not that the price tag equates with what their sibling receives.
We pass it on.
Our three oldest girls had a fun play kitchen that they enjoyed for years. When they outgrew it, we put it into the attic. After a couple of years our two younger girls were old enough to enjoy a play kitchen, so we pulled it out of the attic, cleaned it up and gave it to them for Christmas.
Again, the goal is to give something that is beneficial and enjoyable, it’s age may or may not matter.
Shopping for others
Especially useful for family and friends that you rarely see.
Wonderful for kids or adults, homemade gifts have featured in our Christmas’s for years.
Here are some homemade gifts we’ve made:
- Personalized table cloths
- Marshmallow guns
- Beaded bobby pins
- Hand-dyed playsilks
- Domino ornaments
- Monogrammed burlap pillows
- Flower hair clips
- Pillowcase backpack – I made these with homemade pillowcases.
- Cabled knit booties
- Crocheted baby hat
You may also be interested in:
- December Challenge: showing Christ’s love this has been the best thing we’ve done in years and it’s not too late for you to join in!
- Large family gift guide – gifts that have stood the test of time.
How do you manage gift giving in your home?