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Simplifying Our Christmas

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Every single year I write a post about how I want to reign back on Christmas. Every single year, I try really hard, but I still over do it just a little.  Christmas was a huge deal in my home growing up.  Our tree was always overflowing with gifts! I loved it, but as I got older, it was really hard not to be disappointed at Christmas when I didn’t have a pile of gifts sitting next to me when it was all over (ouch, eh? I hate to admit that!).  I don’t want to set my kids up for disappoint when they are older, but I also want them to experience the magic of Christmas.

A couple of things happened this past year to really get me motivated to cut back on gifts and focus on quality time instead.

The first thing happened last Christmas. We bought our oldest, then 11, a Zune for her birthday, but gave it to her days before Christmas (because she doesn’t live with us full time we don’t see her on her actual birthday).  It was all she wanted and it was the only gift she paid any attention to.  I have all the other gifts she got for Christmas, still in the boxes, in her closet.  I realized that buying one nice gift that she really, really wanted went a lot further than a stack of gifts.

Last month I found my way on to someone’s blog post about her family’s Christmas last year. She has 4 children ranging in age from toddler to teen.  On Christmas morning the teen got a camera, the two middle kids got hand held games (like Leapsters) and the toddler received a toy.  That was it.  I was taken aback by the simplicity of it all.

That was it. I am determined not to overdo it. We bought several items for the little kids at Target during their toy clearance in July  and I’m calling those good.  We purchased one item (and a few accessories) for our oldest that she really, really wants and that I’m sure she’ll be thrilled to have. It will be both her Christmas and birthday gift as it was kinda pricey. And instead of trying to “round out” Christmas gifts next month, I’m planning some fun family activities so we can simply spend time together making memories.


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  • Ani G W
    May 1, 2012

    This sounds like a great idea, although I think I would feel guilty (just from myself). I am thinking this coming Christmas of doing one big gift for each and having several family gifts for us all to use that the kids can help open.

  • Karin Beery
    December 1, 2011

    Not to mention that the kids have grandmas, grandpas, aunts, and uncles to also buy for them – one gift from everyone and they’ll be SWIMMING in presents!

    • Camille
      December 1, 2011

      Exactly! We didn’t have that growing up so it’s hard to remember that for my kids, mom and dad aren’t the only people buying gifts. Plus, grandma and grandpa spoil them on a weekly basis so the kids get plenty of “treats”.

  • Stephanie
    November 29, 2011

    Our kids are also only getting one gift this year.  My shopping was done in one day.  No stress, ho hassle.

    • Camille
      December 1, 2011

      I love this! I can’t wait to hear how it goes.