It never fails that at this time of the year the “greedies” and “gimmes” take over. Yes, we have fun traditions and special devotions that help us all keep our eyes on Jesus. But come Christmas morning, my kids are usually just thinking about what is under the tree…for them.
It’s good to be excited about the gifts that we’ve been given. However, I think we’ll all agree that often times there is a little too much focus on what we’ll be getting. Most kids stutter when asked, “What is your favorite part of Christmas?”
Everybody knows that Jesus is the right answer 99% of the time, especially when asked at church.
Over the fifteen years that I’ve been blessed with the title of Mom, I’ve watched the varying dynamics at Christmas time. Then a few years ago, something very significant changed things.
About five years ago my kids decided that it would be fun to use their own money to buy their siblings gifts. Sometimes it was just things they found in a dollar store. More recently, as they have gotten into the practice of saving a little extra for this time of year, they’ve been upping their game and ordering online.
Christmas mornings have turned from “Me next!” in anxiousness to open their own gift next to “Mine next!” in anticipation of watching their brothers and sisters open the gift that they so carefully picked out. It has been such a welcome change. We take pictures of the giver and the recipient with their new present and big smiles.
It has been such a little change, but a HUGE blessing.
My little kids don’t always have much to spend on their siblings, so we do help them out a little. We set low budgets of about $5 per gift. They all get really creative with finding something in their budget. My older kids are allowed to spend more if they’d like. We also have years when the “gift” is nothing more than toys they’ve grown tired of and decided their younger brother or sister might be interested in them. I laugh at the “clutter” that gets passed on. Yet, the younger brother or sister is usually excited to inherit their new treasures.
Christmas doesn’t have to break the bank to create memories that will last a lifetime — and remind us all that there can be just as much joy found in giving gifts as in receiving them.
Blessings and joy,
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P.S. I have an entire chapter on adding fun to your family time in my free book, Sanity Savers for Moms. My traditions planner printable is in there, too. Please feel free to check it out HERE. I also have some really fun giveaways going on the entire month of December with my special Simply Joyful Podcast sponsor. Be sure to check it out HERE.