The first year we were married I had read an article about a military family who, being low on funds, had adopted this tradition. At the time funds weren't low but I was very discouraged with how commercialized Christmas had become. I was looking for a way to downsize Christmas without giving up gift-giving all together. When I told my husband my idea, he was all for it. Now that our family is much bigger, it helps financially to know I won't go overboard.
It's plain and simple. 3 gifts. Jesus received 3 gifts from the wise men and in turn we give each of our children 3 gifts, to remind them of the true meaning of Christmas. If you ask them, they know exactly why we do this. They know we are celebrating the birth of Jesus. The focus then turns to gift-giving instead of gift-receiving. I love hearing their ideas for something my husband might like or even one of their siblings. And they're usually right on.
Over the years I have realized there are added benefits to this tradition.
- You don't overload your house with toys that won't be played with in a month or two.
- You don't overspend.
- It has helped our children learn to not be greedy. They actually think about what they want instead of making a list a mile long - and actually, up until this year, they never asked for anything.
- They appreciate what they get just a little bit more.
- You are teaching your children that it's not about what they get - it's the thought that counts.
- You are keeping Christmas focused on the birth of Our Savior.
This is one tradition I'm so glad we started. I'd love to hear some of yours. We're always looking to make new memories with our kids.