It seems that Christmas has become so commercialized in recent years. After noticing the Christmas items for sale in the stores this year BEFORE Halloween my husband and I talked about making our Christmas a little more simple this year. Afterall, the reason we have Christmas isn’t to decorate the tree, give & recieve gifts, send cards, have a big dinner, decorate the house, visit santa, bake goodies for neighbors, and what seems to be the focus of most people- to do all these things better than someone else! We want to bring the focus back to a more simple remberance of the birth of the Savior Jesus Christ. And to teach our children that it is the spiritual side of Christmas that is more important than the worldly representation it has become.
So this is our game plan:
We have chosen to only do 3 gifts per child this year. We explained to the kids that we were doing this for a few reasons: A- they have so many toys/things already they don’t really *need* anything B-we would rather give them a few really nice gifts rather than a ton of cheap ones and most importantly C- we explained the story of the 3 wise men and how they gave the Savior 3 gifts.
Their gifts will be themed as such: 1 Spiritual gift, 1 Clothing gift (it will actually be more than 1 clothing item, but all wrapped in one box), and 1 toy gift from Santa.
I explained that the 3 wise men gave: Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh. I explained how the gold was something necessary for them to live and buy the things they needed, it was a needed item like their clothing gift is. The Frankincense and Myrrh were both used for healing as well as a luxery form of a perfume. Frankincense was often burned and symbolized a prayer going to heaven, this is the representation of our spiritual gift. Myrrh was used for burials for those who could afford it, as a luxery this represents the toy gift.
We will have one family gift to open up on Christmas eve that will have Pj’s for everyone (ones that I’m sewing this year) a Christmas movie, Hot cocoa, a book, and a treat for a fun family night.
They will still get their stockings stuffed, and exchange a gift with a sibling as well as recieve gifts from outside family members and friends. But for our family this is what we have chosen to do this year, and I can tell you that it’s been the best choice we’ve made! The holidays have been so stress-free this year. Not having to worry about making sure the kids’ Christmas presents are equal, spending lots of money making sure they all have an assortment of gifts etc.
Decorating the Tree–
This year in keeping things simple we chose not to put up any of our decorations and instead make all homemade decorations.
We sat together and strung popcorn and cranberry garland one night. It was a fun family time activity and they turned out pretty cute! Here’s a few pictures-
Be prepared for a big mess on the floor! But I love the look of the end result.
In the next week or so we intend to make some ornaments out of dough that the kids can put their handprint on and some with cookie cutters the kids can paint. We may even make some scrapbooking and string ornaments- I’ll post these as we make them.
Neighbor and other gifts-
We will still be giving away some goodie plates. Gifts for other family members will be homemade crafts- thanks to Pinterest I have a lot of ideas of some cute things to make!!
I will be sewing everyone’s Christmas dress/tie this year, and Christmas eve Pj’s which means I can make them all matching!
We have also thought about doing the 12 days of Christmas for another family, we’ll see as it gets closer to the 12th how much I have on my plate 🙂
Stay tuned and I’ll be sharing more of our experiments and projects as it gets closer to Christmas!
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