Did you know that the average american spent $646 last year on Christmas gifts. The same “average” american is also in $15, 328 worth of debt. Does anyone else see a problem with this?
Of course Christmas is not the only reason people are in debt, but what if we looked at Christmas giving a little differently than our friend, the “average” american.
First let me say I am all in favor of gift giving. When God gave us the greatest gift of all at Christmas it is wonderful to give to others in remembrance of such a beautiful display of love and sacrifice. But do we really remember the beautiful symbol of His gift when we are stuck in crowded malls, and adding stress to our life with hustle, bustle, spending and holiday lists?
Are our kids truly better because they got everything they ever wanted under the tree? If we are going into debt to give gifts then what are we teaching about our values?
Our kids are 3 and almost 5 yrs old. So far we have done very simple gifts but as they get older I know that becomes harder. I asked several families in which I respect how they handle Christmas giving and here is what I found:
- “If three gifts were enough for the newborn King of Kings, three gifts are enough for each of our children. We will set a modest budget for gifts for each child. Each gift will be thoughtfully selected to support real-life interests that we see emerging, and develop skills that could be used for God’s purposes at some point. We will never give them anything that supports harmful values or habits.” -Crosswalk.com
- “At Christmas I got practical gifts, stuff I needed. The video games, etc. I had to earn. I would work for those items. I found some items were not really worth working for, and the ones that were, I appreciated so much more.” -Friend of ours
- “We give ONE thing in each of these categories: something they WANT, something they NEED, something to WEAR, something to READ” Simple Kids
- “When I give gifts I try to give homemade gifts, experiences (bowling gift card or massage), or consumables like food. Something they will enjoy and not add clutter”Happy at home
What is right for each family will change over time.
I simply want to keep the focus on the season and not on the number of presents under the tree.
What do you think?
How do you keep Christmas simple at your home?
Yes! We do the “3 gifts” thing and I love giving home-made goodies and such to neighbors and teachers. We struggle with all the “stuff” our kids get from extended family but we sort it, save some for later, re-gift some (sorry if that’s tacky) and donate some. My kids are already asking for bigger stuff, not at all grasping the cost of things. Learning experiences ahead for them! We also buy second-hand stuff for alot of their gifts, especially bigger stuff, like bikes.
Katie @ Imperfect People says:
Girl after my own heart
Imperfect People in love with a Perfect God
I totally agree with you about keeping Christmas simple. My mother has always been a big gift giver though. I mean overboard. She would get Christmas gifts for everyone in our family including aunts, uncles, and all of the cousins and she expected us to do the same. If I tried resisting I would almost be ostracised. However, this year my husband and I have decided to do what is right for our family despite pressure to conform. We are getting our daughters one thing that they want and then the rest are things that they need. I think they will be more than satisfied, we will stay in our budget for once, and we can focus more on the true meaning of Christmas.
Katie @ Imperfect People says:
That’s awesome! Stay strong! Family pressure can be hard
Colonial House of Flowers says:
love a simple christmas! good post, katie!