1. Three Gifts.
It was one of those moments when I thought, “How in the world have I never heard of this before?” It seemed like once my friend Mitsy told me about it, I discovered tons of families were already doing this. Still, just in case you, like me, have never heard of this tradition, I’ll pass it along. It has really helped our family keep reasonable expectations for gifts, restrain the spending, and streamline my thinking for what to get whom.
Basically the tradition is that each child receives three gifts for Christmas in remembrance of the three gifts the magi gave to Jesus. We don’t do a lot of detailed symbolism with it like some of our friends do. In fact, we kind of stretch this by giving p.j.’s and slippers on Christmas Eve. And then giving a couple of family gifts, like board games, puzzles, or something like zoo passes. And there is the stocking stuffers.
2. A memory instead of a toy.
So it may not have the WOW factor unwrapping a toy does, but still, for longevity and family-building, giving an event/memory is totally worth it. Maybe it is a membership to the aquarium, science center, or children’s museum (or even just a one time pass). Maybe tickets to zoo-lights, day trip to Ohio 🙂 , a kids cooking class, pottery painting. I would love to hear more ideas for making memories in lieu of giving toys.
3. Sibling Stocking Stuffers.
This is another idea I got from a friend. We have the kids draw names for each other. They aren’t allowed to tell whose name they chose (and they do really well keeping the secret). We then take them, in shifts, to the Dollar Store with five dollars each. It is so fun to watch them choose gifts for their brother or sister. They LOVE this — especially giving the gifts on Christmas morning. This is really fun and one of the highlights on Christmas morning (we do it last).
Do you have any fun ideas/traditions regarding gift giving? Please let us know in the comment box. or better yet, write a post on your blog and I’ll post the link here.