taking the crazy out of Christmas...

We are a determined family.
We are all refusing to be stressed out this Christmas.
After lots of praying and years of trying to figure out how...we are taking the
crazy out of Christmas. At least the bad crazy.
We will still be crazy happy, crazy joyful, crazy jolly and crazy grateful.
By making small changes here and there...we are doing it.
So far, so good really. I know it is early yet but I am extremely hopeful.
It feels good and warm.
One way we are doing it this year...
We are limiting the gifts for the boys and each other.
To three gifts each. Plus stockings.
For two reasons...one...Jesus got three gifts and
two...there are four of us...one gift from each person.
Already it has changed our Christmas dynamic.
We have already been very thoughtful about what we buy.
And already so less stressed. The feeling that we need to "get it all" is gone.
Gone! (yay for prayer!)
We are focusing on things like being together and having fun.
Not mounding toys under the tree that will be
played with for moments and then tossed aside.
I will admit, when I first heard of this idea years ago...I felt sorry for the family!
Isn't that terrible? I didn't get it. At all.
Then I had kids. I have seen Moses overwhelmed by too much.
And some how, probably by God's doing...
I feel like we are giving so much more this year.
Time, thoughtfulness, consideration...memories. Happy ones.

Having a great Christmas has so little to do with money spent.
I am giddy for Christmas.
To dwell on the real reason for it all...and share that with my family.
This last photo is a peek at what we will be making here next week...
Until then...how are YOU taking the crazy out of Christmas?

I would LOVE to hear and share ideas!

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xo
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20 comments:

Beth said...

we're doing this, too. my sister has done it for a couple of years, now, and i like how it works. i've been working on a post about it, but like you said, don't want people to 'feel sorry' for our kids. oh, the pressure we put on ourselves! it's really insane!

Trish said...

we are only doing 3 gifts for everyone in our family as well! It seems so backwards, but really when I truly think about the meaning of Christmas... I don't want my kids to think that it is Santa's Birthday!

Another thing I am going to do is really try to make most of my gifts for everyone. It can't happen with all of them, but I think by saving money this helps my husband not get so 'crazy' :)

There are so many out there that have it way worse than we do and why in the world would i want to go and trample people to get the best deal? i am so blessed with a healthy family and amazing friends!

Darlene said...

The 3 gift idea is one we've used in the past and loved it. It has meaning. Less craziness is what we're after this year, too. More family time. Less chaos. Enjoy!

MomBE said...

I have a two and a three year old and we started the same tradition last year. Three gifts plus stockings. I am working on a book to tell them the story of the wise men gifts in relation to what we are giving them. I feel the same way about what we are NOW giving the kids by being more mindful. The other thing I am doing is focusing on TRADITIONS. I made a christmas picture book last year of all that we did to help me remember the traditions and to let the kids look back on what we did last year and do it again this year. Advent, cookies, snow ice cream, decorating, pictures for the card etc.... I also made a question book for other family members from the kids, full of questions about their traditions and history for them to answer and then give back to my kids next xmas.

Happy Hodge Podge said...

We decided to give 3 gifts as well. (there are 4 people in our family, so one from each person to each person). It feels like such a relief. I was stressed out about bringing it up to the kids; but am pleased to report that they were all for the idea, and actually said they loved the idea! Can't wait to see that new project you're working on.
PS: that wittle bum...:)

Chrissie Grace said...

We too are doing 3 gifts each with a stocking, although I have a tradition of giving all my kids a new pair of pajamas and a new book on Christmas Eve. Now I'm trying to convince all the grandparents to just get ONE gift each. The excess is overwhelming!

Amy said...

I think the three-gift idea is great! The holiday season should be a time of joy and not stress!

(that is one cute tushie!)

-Amy
Crafting by Candlelight

Polka Dot Moon said...

Wonderful post to share! Fabulous idea!!

Abby said...

We are simplifying as well. My son is only 2 and we have another one on the way (in less than 2 weeks), so we are starting now before they get used to a material based holiday.

I read somewhere to get 4 gifts - a need, a want, something to wear, and something to read. So we are going to try that this year.

Molly said...

I love this! We started last year with just writing each other notes on how much we loved each other (me& my husband). As far as the family goes and all our church friends, I have limited it to three handmade gifts each ,never thought that Jesus only 3, thanks for reminding me:) I made everyones gift last year and loved it. Not only did it save me a ton of money but each gift was personalized. Our church friends will be getting a handmade ornament of some sort. I love the meaning of Christmas too and have found that just spending time with family and rejoicing in what the real meaning is very satisfying. Love this post chicky and that cute little babe!!!
~Molly P

Ben and Taryn said...

I'm going to try the three gifts this year too. I think and hope my kids are young enough to not notice it is less. I want them to always try to be like Jesus, in every part of their lives, and think this may be a good way to remind us all.

Leah31 said...

I absolutely *love* your idea of one gift from each member of the family. I think you are a bloomin' genius and am totally going to see if I can get my husband to bite on this one. Awesome! :)

Anonymous said...

I am with you!! To many people go insane at Christmas and go into debt. No thanks:) We must remember the true meaning of CHRISTmas. They are allready on t.v. talking about the deals after thankgiving.I won't be up at two am for all those crazy deals.ELma

Holly said...

So inspiring!!!!!! xoxo LOVE the new pic too.

Nancy said...

We do something to limit the gifts too. One "gift", a gift from the sibling, a book, game, stocking stuff. It really does keep it simple and opens up the true meaning of it all. I LOVE your garland you made.... LOVE it.. are you going to show me how to make it, please! (note my pitiful expression as I whine!)

sara luke said...

We're just doing one gift and stockings this year. They accumulate so much from other relatives, it's insane.

I made one of the sock advent calendars last year and never put it up. Boo.

The Parrotts said...

I LOVE the three gift idea, but especially because it gives more meaning, and it's teachable. I've heard of a number of people buying gifts for needy family/Toys for Tots this year instead of each other...my husband and I have realized that we've already bought a lot of things for our Paige that will just overwhelm her/go unnoticed, so those will go to charity too.
Thank you for sharing what you are doing, it's inspiring to our family :)

Whimsical Creations said...

Love this idea. I stopped buying for family and friends a long time ago. My husband & I do not exchange gifts either.

What cute shots!

Alissa Hall said...

The more I read, the more I love you. I just wrote a post about this the other day myself! It's time to get back to what it's really about. Kudos to you for doing it before your kids are as old as mine!!

For our Christmas, we are doing a Want, Need, Wear, Read, Made by Me Christmas. One thing they want, one thing they need, one thing to wear, one really nice thing to read and something handmade by Mom. Yes, it's 5 things but realistically only one will be a toy. At least from us. We also do Santa (who does one gift per kid and fills the stockings) but that's plenty for the kids to get from us. Especially when you throw in Grandparents and such... My 8 year old daughter is getting a nice hard bound copy of The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. My 6 year old son is getting a boxed set of two hard bound books about Legos and the history of them while my youngest (age 4) is getting a nice hard bound book of 13 of Dr. Suess' best loved stories in one "book". I'm super excited about these books. I think our kids will really love them over some of the disposable dumbed down books they get that pass as books.

Mary Elizabeth said...

We are doing this too!!! You get so much during the year Christmas maddess takes over. I can't stand to be streesed during the holidays. I am actually all done with my daughter's gifts excpet for a few stocking stuffers. :)

A few years ago I started making handmade gifts for the grandparents, aunts, uncles and it has made things so much more pleasurable for me because I start in the summer. This year I am proud to say that I have most of that already finished and just a few minor things left to do.

Our house is torn up with painting we started 2 weeks ago and looks like will linger into the first week of Dec. - Ugh , but Ho! Ho! Ho! Let the holiday magic begin anyway!!

Look forward to seeing next week"s project! I am also half way through a quilt my friend and I started in Oct when she came to visit! Thanks to you and Julie at Joy's Hope and the quilt alongs. She and I are making the scarves for one another that Julie is making right now. :)

Love to you and your family!!! I LOVE YOUR BLOG!!

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