I know it isn't actually Thanksgiving yet and the Christmas season has NOT begun despite what every retail establishment has been telling us for weeks. However, over the past couple of weeks, I've been in some conversations with friends about Christmas and Christmas gifts and how it all goes around here on the Farm.
A few of the conversations went the way of "Christmas is so crazy with all the gifts and stuff and running and blah, blah, blah. I'd love for it to be simpler so the true reason for the celebration isn't lost." A couple of others were more along the lines of "How do you get gifts for others and your passel of kids without breaking the bank?"
I've opinions on those questions to fill several blog posts, but here's my short answer.
In order to keep Christmas about Christ and his gift, you and your spouse have to think and talk about it now. It's not too late, even though all the stores have been proclaiming Christmas is here already for the past month. In your talking and thinking, you need to decide what the holiday will look like for your family. Not your neighbor's family or your sister's family...just YOUR family. Remember you have your OWN ruler.
When you've got that vision...stick with it! If you decided to get one gift for each kid, get one gift and don't be tempted by all the great deals on other things your child would like, too. If you decide five gifts works for your family, just get five, not ten. Maybe it's one family gift and a few smaller gifts for each kiddo. Or, gasp, one family gift and no individual gifts. Just decide and stick to it.
We tend to lean towards the one larger, which is a very relative term, gift for each Young'un with a few smaller gifts thrown in for fun and good measure. It is such a JOY to give good gifts to our children. I love it! However, the joy of the giving would be robbed for us if the gifts we gave threw our budget out of whack and put financial strain on our family.
As far as giving gifts to extended family and friends, things lean towards small, meaningful or unique and sometimes homemade. Again, giving brings us joy and we try to make up with thoughtfulness what might be lacking in the cost of each gift.
My plan is to share some of our ideas with you in the next few weeks.
Stay tuned for the Thrifty, but Meaningful, Christmas