Christmas is here and I’m completely finish shopping. You see I start planning for Christmas around October. I make a list of all the people that I plan to shop for so that I don’t have any surprises. This year, I have 35 people on my list! My list includes the names of each person as well as the type of gift I would like to give them. Having a list and checking it twice helps me to stay on task. By combining sales and coupons I am able to save on shopping. I also used the money earned by completing surveys to help save this Christmas.
I consider myself to be somewhat of a minimalist and so this drives my gift giving. I don’t ask my kids what they would like for Christmas but instead I listen to hints that they give. My boys mentioned that they would like Carolina Panthers jerseys so that will be their major gift from us. We purchased jerseys from Kohls when they were on sale during Thanksgiving. Our daughter likes to help in the kitchen so this year she will get her own. We actually only purchase one or two gifts for each for our kids plus their stockings. By the time we exchange gifts with other family members, they have more than enough gifts.
My in-laws give us Christmas money so that we can buy gifts for the kids from them. I purchase one or two gifts from them and then I put the rest of the money into their accounts. Our kids are aware of the money given by their grandparents and are very grateful for it. We use their money for experience gifts. In the past our kids have taken cooking classes, played sports, and gone on the Polar express train ride. These types of experience gifts allow our kids to have memories of new activities as opposed to adding so many more things to our home.
In the rush to find the perfect gift for each person, it can be hard to remember the true reason for the season. Jesus is the reason. As fun as it is to receive gifts it is truly more rewarding to give gifts. Each year we choose names from an angel tree and along with our children we purchase gifts for them. It has become a tradition that we look forward to each year. It is our hope that this small gesture of giving will always remind our children of the greatest gift ever given.
Do you have any family traditions that you celebrate at Christmas?