As we plan for Christmas giving, I wanted to share with you how our family does gifts. While extended family often give many or large gifts, we try to limit the gift giving to the kids and focus the time more on the spiritual meaning behind the day of celebration.
When First Born was little, we put into place two “systems” that govern our gift giving at Christmas.
First, we don’t do Santa as anything more than a fun character (similar to Mickey Mouse or Dora). But I didn’t want to lose the tradition of stockings. So we came up with a great new Christmas Eve/stocking tradition. We open stockings after coming home from church or an outing on Christmas Eve. Each stocking is filled with 3 gifts – Christmas pajamas (a must-have!), a movie, and a small toy (small Lego set, can of Play-Doh etc.). We open these on Christmas Eve and then watch one of the movies while eating our favorite holiday cookies and drinking hot cocoa in the twinkling lights of our tree.
Second, we adopted the Three Gift system for Christmas day. On Christmas morning we start the day with a “Happy Birthday Jesus” cake and reading the Christmas story from the Bible. Then it is on to our three gifts. These three gifts are based on the gold, frankincense, and myrrh referenced in the Bible. The “gold” gift is that one slightly larger or more expensive gift that a child really wants; the thing you know they will see as a treasure. The “myrrh” gift is something for their body, such as lip gloss, a baseball cap, clothes, shoes, lotions, press-on tattoos – whatever your child currently wants or needs. The “frankincense” gift is something personal designed to help them with their spiritual growth and worship of God – a Bible, a VeggieTales DVD, a worship CD, a great spiritual-growth book, etc.
The great part about these three gift systems is that they allow us to pass on tradition and focus on the religious significance of the holiday without the kids feeling like they missed out on anything. We like the idea that my husband and I have started using this system for each other too.