My husband and I have been trying to find ways to simplify our Christmas gift giving. In particular with our kids. By the time we have Christmas with his family and my family and us... its kind of an overload of toys and frivolous things that are nice but do not necessarily add value to our lives or the holiday. Its just stuff.
Obviously as a parent I want to give my children gifts. But I don't want them to grow up feeling like that is what the Christmas season is about. My husband and I are trying to downplay the gifts and bring the focus back to Christ. One way we are doing that is limiting the gifts to four things. I found this idea on Pinterest here and also this post. I love this idea. Here is the breakdown of what the gifts will be for our kids.
Knex on Amazon. Nate has never owned any of these before but they seem like something that he would really enjoy.
Need - Nate has started to take his bible to church lately and frankly its ending up on the dirty floor of the van from time to time. So, I thought that now would be a good time for him to get a bible cover. I thought about making one but I want to make sure it can withstand the abuse of a sever year old boy so my husband is picking one out at the Christian bookstore.
Wear - Nate is pretty set for clothes for the most part. But he likes to dress up for church and I have a nice dress coat that I got at Old Navy a couple of seasons ago and is just now the size he needs so he will be getting a nice big boy coat.
Read - I got a great deal at Half Price Books on a copy of Fun With Nature: Take Along Guide. It was only a couple of bucks in the clearance section. Nate will enjoy learning about nature and using the book to help him explore on trips to the park.
Melissa and Doug Farm Hide and Seek on sale awhile back. I think it seems like something he will like. I hope I'm right! ;-)
Need - I thought about getting Joe some pants because he burns holes in the knees faster than any kid I've ever met. But I know a couple family members will be getting him pants already. So, I had to get creative. Since we haven't really advanced very far developmentally we kind of get bored of "therapy" toys before out-growing them. So its always fun to get a few new ones in the mix. I got this Melissa and Doug Bug catching magnetic puzzle on Amazon when Melissa and Doug stuff was half off. It'll be good for fine motor skills and for matching.
Wear - Typically I am a "wear clothing more than one day" kind of person. But since Joe attends school I don't really feel I can get away with that for him, especially with shirts (I can get away with having him wear pants a couple of days). So, I have another Old Navy clearance deal with a cute long sleeve t-shirt with a screen sprinted necktie on it. So cute!
Read - Joe is only minimally interested in having books read to him. He is still pretty grabby and honestly, we don't do it all that often because he doesn't get into it and won't sit still well. But when I saw this book at HPB I cracked up laughing and had to buy it. I know, I'm a dork. ;-)
Want -Awhile ago we got Christine to attempt to pretend she said "hello" into a phone. Now, even though we haven't been able to get her to do it lately we want to encourage that kind of play and she enjoys toys that makes sounds and play music. So I got her this adorable Fisher Price smart phone. It looks like daddy's droid! Sort of. ;-)
Need - I have seen Christine's therapists use chunky crayons (that are easier to grasp) and figured that would be a good therapy tool to have at the house for both her and Joe. I found this set at Home Goods for $5.
Wear - I have a small stash of clothes for her to wear this summer but not a lot. So, again with the Old Navy clearance deals (have I mentioned that I Christmas shop over the summer?)... I have a couple of outfits that I got at like 75-90% off. Technically it adds up to be more than one thing... but we'll let it slide. Little girl clothes are way more fun to buy than boys'... just sayin. ;-)
Read - Drawings and illustrations are great but I feel like Christine really benefits more from real pictures of things. So I found a cute counting board book for her that has actual pictures instead of illustrations.
Well, it may be simple to some but we would rather have a simple heartfelt Christmas than an overspent, stressful and commercialized holiday season. This is just a small step toward having a more Christ centered Christmas. What things do you like to do to make Christmas meaningful for your friends and family?
- Romans 6:23 - For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (NASB)