Friday, December 2, 2011

My Attempt to Simplify Christmas: Three Gifts

As I've tried to simplify my life (as much as a messy lady can), it often feels like overload once we've opened presents from family and friends.  We really wanted to find a way to focus more on Christ at Christmas, so over the past few years, we have made the decision to limit the number of gifts we give to the girls.  

The girls receive three gifts from us -- and we talk about how Jesus received three gifts after He was born.  For us, it has simply been a way to draw the attention back to Jesus instead of to the gifts.

I used to just give three gifts of any kind, but now I look for these categories of gifts:

1)  Extravagant: This gift could be a bicycle, doll house, video game system, or other higher-value gift. It's a gift that isn't a necessity.

2)  Practical:  Clothing, shoes, school curriculum, and books are just a few of the practical items we've given over the years. (Yes, I know it's strange to give workbooks -- but my daughters ask for them!)

3) Spiritual: We also try to give the girls one item to encourage spiritual growth throughout the year. It could be a Bible, Bible study, CD with hymns, or a DVD of some sort. This year, the girls are getting "Giving Banks" as part of learning good stewardship of what God has given us.

How do you keep the focus on the real meaning of Christmas?!!


Blogger Jennifer said...

I've heard of the "three gift" idea before but I love that you have different "types" of gifts to give. I've been going back and forth about what to get for my kids (because they have SO MUCH!) and am so glad you shared this idea because I think that's the way to go! This year we are also having the older kids go each pick out a gift to give to our local toy drive. (We did it before, but it was Mom and Dad picking it out!) I'm hoping this will help our efforts to teach them selfless giving...

December 2, 2011 at 12:19 PM  
Blogger mom4 said...

i have done this also for years . my kids are now 20,17,12 and 11. we also did santa gifts but again no more then 3

December 2, 2011 at 12:29 PM  
Blogger Stacie said...

Thanks, Jennifer! I love the toy drive idea! We've also been considering sponsoring another Compassion child and/or purchasing some of the livestock gifts from the Samaritan's Purse catalog as a way of turning our focus off ourselves...

December 2, 2011 at 12:38 PM  
Anonymous Mommy Cameron said...

We are going to be doing the three gift thing for the first time this year. I have heard many different ways to do the three gifts and I really like yours. Thanks for sharing.

December 2, 2011 at 12:54 PM  
Anonymous Lacie said...

We are doing the 3 gifts this year also. I also heard of another idea to give 4 gifts: something you want, something you need, something to wear, something to read. I thought that was a cute idea too.

December 2, 2011 at 1:21 PM  
Blogger Stacie said...

Lacie -- that is a cute idea, too! I hadn't heard that one before.

Thanks, Mommy Cameron!! :)

December 2, 2011 at 2:42 PM  
Blogger Emily said...

We also made the decision when our first son was born to do the three gifts from us as well as grandparents. If three gifts were good enough for Jesus they are good enough for our 3 sons. We have done this each year for them and explained each year since they could understand about only getting three gifts.

I love the idea of three type of gifts. We have to keep that in mind for next year as I am finished with shopping for this year.

Thanks for all you share on your blog. I REALLY enjoy reading it for idea.

December 2, 2011 at 5:47 PM  
Blogger SocialStudiesSoubrette said...

What a wonderful idea. Little Bit is so small that we are still in the spoiling him rotten phase. We talk about Jesus as much as we can. He is almost two now. I hope by next year he will understand more and we can share more of Christ with him <3

December 2, 2011 at 7:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a GREAT IDEA! A Giving BANK!!! I LOVE your heart to bless your children and honor the Lord Jesus Christ!

December 8, 2011 at 4:20 PM  

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