I know, you’re moaning and groaning because this post has the word “Christmas” in the title and it’s only October 29th. It’s totally ridiculous. But for me, you see, shopping season comes early; Sophie’s birthday is November 16th. It’s followed closely by my husband’s on Novmember 26th and then Jonah’s on December 17th. Oh, yes, and THEN Jesus’ on December 25th.
So. I’m shopping.
Last year I overdid it big time on Sophie’s birthday and Christmas. Mostly because it was the first time that Sophie really, really, really, completely, fully enjoyed and understood these events. Also, I found a TON of great deals last year for both her birthday and for Christmas. However, I probably should not have bought them all. The big kids just got way too much. Joshua’s birthday is 8 weeks after Christmas so by the time we got there, we were on full toy overload. And the kids’ expectations were just too high.
I know it’s “rough” having a birthday so close to Christmas. They don’t really get presents any other time of the year. But this year, I’m trying to teach them that it’s not about how much stuff you get. That, of course, is easier said than done.
To get us started on the path to gift moderation instead of present overload, I borrowed an idea from my friend Tess . For Christmas, they give each child four presents: something you want, something you need, something to wear, something to read. Brilliant, right? I immediately decided to adopt this idea for our family for Christmas and birthdays. So, a few weeks ago I broke the news to the big kids.
At first, Sophie was excited about it, until Joshua clued her in to the fact that it used to be “something you want, something you want, something you want, something you want.” So they both kind of pouted for awhile, but after a few weeks of talking about it on and off – I think they’re both finally on board! Sophie gave me an appropriate birthday list and yesterday Joshua made his Christmas list for me in line with the new guidelines:
Didn’t he do a nice job? I’m proud of him and of Sophie! I hope they can keep their good attitudes through the holiday season – the first of the toy catalogs arrived today and they were both pretty excited.
We’ll see how the experiment goes this year. I’m hoping it -along with our Operation Christmas Child boxes – goes a long way in teaching them that Christmas is really about God’s gift to us.
What do you do to teach your kids that it’s better to give than to receive?