One of the holiday traditions that my boys look forward to is the Toys-R-Us catalog that comes in the mail or newspaper. This is the opportunity that they have to dream big and circle all the things they want for Christmas. They go crazy as they search for the coolest toys and make their picks for Santa. I have to admit that I think I have just as much fun surfing through the pages as they do trying to find a gift that would benefit “the whole family”…or that I could play with too.
This year though, we put a twist on it. This year, we decided that we were going to downsize our gift giving…well actually our receiving. We explained that each member of the family was only going to get three gifts when they woke up for Christmas morning. We want our focus on Christmas not to be about all the toys we can rack up, but rather about three important things that should make Christmas special.
- We want to spend more time with each other than we spend opening up and playing with our things.
- We want to take the consumerism focus off of Christmas and allow our kids to be grateful for what they have.
- We want to teach our kids that Christmas is not about getting gifts, but it has a much deeper meaning. It’s about the fact that God loved us so much that He came to be with us.
Why only three gifts? This is to drive home the third point. When Christ was born, on the day we now celebrate Christmas, there were three wise men who brought Him…you guessed it…three gifts. If it was good enough for Jesus, it’s good enough for us. Sure, when we visit our extended family I’m sure my boys will be lavished with more…that’s what grandmas and grandpas do…but when it’s just us, we want it to be more than just checking off a wish list from Toys-R-Us.
So, what about you? What will you do this Christmas in order to focus on something more than just gifts? What traditions does your family do to remind them of the true meaning of Christmas?