"Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of. but do it in private
and wash your hands afterwards." --Robert Heinlein.

We've moved!

For the next two years (Summer 2014-Summer 2016) I'll be blogging our family's adventures in China at www.chinesemileposts.wordpress.com

Monday, September 26, 2011

Thinking about Christmas

Yes... it's not yet October and I'm already thinking and planning out Christmas.  However, I'm not shopping... yet.  I'm wondering what you guys do for presents for your kids at Christmas time.  Usually I chose a set amount of money for each kid and buy as much stuff for them as I can (on and off their list) without going over that amount.  After last year, which wasn't even a big year, the kids had opened so many presents and gotten everything they had ever dreamed of by the end of opening family presents (from each other, grandparents, aunts/uncles, etc.) on Christmas Eve.  Jed and I considered forgetting about the Santa presents.  They'd already gotten SO much and were happy, but we just couldn't cancel Santa without warning... you don't want to offend Santa.  So we went ahead with Christmas Day gift madness and decided that next Christmas would be scaled down... a lot. Now I'm trying to decide how to scale down.  Here's what I'm thinking right now, but I would love your ideas or if you do anything interesting.

For each kid:
One Christmas Ornament per kid (Jed's family tradition)
PJs or slippers (my family tradition)
Each kid will buy a present for their siblings/parents
Either two gifts per kid (one from each parent) or one larger gift to each kid (from both parents)
Stockings (stuffed)
1 Santa gift
Two books (ones the kids really want) (we'll make these from Santa)

I'm not sure what I think about this set-up because 1) I know I'll keep finding more and more presents that I'm sure the kids HAVE to have.  2) This puts the majority of our gift opening on Christmas Eve (Jed's family tradition is opening family gifts on Christmas Eve.  Mine is opening PJs on Christmas Eve).  Maybe Santa can also get them new clothes they might need (Princess Sparkley would probably be on board with this... the boys, maybe, if it was Lego, Star Wars or sports-themed shirts).

What do you do in your family?  Or what would you like to try?


wendys said...

I know lots of people who do three gifts, like how Christ was brought 3 gifts. We don't though. We don't open any Christmas eve. I don't really know what to do this year. Some years I get the shopping done early, others I wait for the big sales after thanksgiving. I usually try to keep it under a certain money amount though.

Myk said...

I've hear of one to wear, read, and play with. I love stockings, so I like to do a good stocking. I thought about doing the Xmas eve PJS, but I think that gets really expensive buying X amount of PJS plus presents for the real christmas. I think I will do a "family" christmas eve gift, like a movie, game, etc. that the whole family can enjoy that we can open together on Christmas Eve. This year I plan to buy each kid 1 bigger toy, and then make them each a toy/fun thing. I also think the buying each sibling/parent is also expensive...I've heard of drawing family names in October and then having each person make the family gift. Basically, I'm super cheap, and with the food/goodies/celebrations/gifts of christmas i think it gets too crazy. Not to mention I want enough money for after Christmas shopping sales:)!

EmmaJ said...

I just bought my first present this past week. A sleeping bag for Oscar to take camping next summer. It was on clearance at Target.
You could change it to just sibling/parent presents on Christmas and Aunt/Uncle/Grandparent on Christmas, or vice versa.

Erin said...

I am all for drawing names! Once families get big it is so hard to keep up. So we draw names for both Nathan and my siblings. Our kids also draw a name for each other. Otherwise it just seems to be too many little gifts, instead of one nicer one. We open our sibling gifts on Christmas Eve (so just one present). Sometimes we celebrate St. Nicolas Day which is Dec 8 I think. That is a good time to give them an ornament or Christmas CD, something you want to have for the season.

The Man Your Husband Is Worried About said...

Not scaled down enough. Keep cuttin', lady!

And I disagree that there will ever be anything they "have" to have for Christmas. They already own more than they need. For evidence I submit the impossibility of walking across the playroom floor.

Aimee said...

We kind of like the idea too of "Something you want, something you need, something to wear, and something to read." I am so cheap (and I HATE when there is so much stuff for Christmas that they can't appreciate it!) that those 4 things will be divided among parent/grandparent/Santa/stocking gifts. My parents do the PJ thing for Christmas Eve, so we haven't worried about that yet (plus our boys are so young they don't really understand yet! So I'm not really great for advice!) But basically I wait to see what Grandparents are planning before I really decide what I'm getting, to cover whatever is not covered of "the 4", or I give Grandparents ideas from "the 4" and then cover the rest. Seriously, I'm not looking forward to Christmas when they get older! This year I am planning on getting them one medium-sized gift, to share. That's it. Then a book and clothes as needed. Good luck! It's so hard! The other thing we do is save a certain amount of money for Christmas, then that is what we can spend, on the kids AND on each other. That helps curtail some of the impulse buys!

cms87 said...

We are really basic at our house. The kids get one gift from Santa and one from us. My mother-in-law usually buys the kids a gift as well. And that is about it. We don’t do pajamas unless my mom buys them for them (something that sometimes happens and sometimes doesn’t.) We don’t really do gifts on Christmas Eve. At some point I want the kids to buy gift for each other and when we do that, we will open those on Christmas Eve. But, right now, them buying each other gifts just means that I buy them another gift and we are just too cheap for that right now. :o)

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