Dec 052013

When I saw this graphic from Being Frugal Sally, I knew it was time for another post about Christmas, and gift giving.

To catch up with what I’ve written about our holiday traditions in the past, you can revisit Celebrating St. Nick.

This year we’ve made a couple of big strides forward:

1. Continuing with gifting on St. Nicholas’ Day, but continuing the move away from “stuff”.

Rather than stay home and focus even on that gift-giving holiday, we’ve arranged to take a mini-vacation. Everyone’s gifting budget is channeled into the costs of the trip, so presents are only a few of the “stocking stuffer” variety, mostly for entertainment on the drive.

This happened a bit inadvertently last year, with our family’s first trip to Disney World. The kids still talk about it often, and we enjoy our photos … while nobody remembers what “stuff” they might have received. Seems like a big win to me!

2. Getting the extended family on board.

I was just sick when my sweet daughter asked if we could have fewer presents to open this year. The extended family doesn’t get to see them much, and definitely has the gifting love language.

This year, when I got a call with a grief-stricken concern that airfare was twice as much as last year, and they might not be able to do as much, I knew it was a golden opportunity.

I presented the idea of giving each child the precious gift of their time. We’ve worked out a plan where they will take each child on a “date”, and do something fun with them (different for each one). Jewel’s “date” will be a sewing project time, so she will have a “gift” built in. For R.T., they will get something small and fun to remember what they did.

I’m sure they will have something small for each person to put under the tree, as well – I don’t for a moment imagine they could resist.

But this is good. This is very good.

And a bonus number

3. The December Kindness Challenge

Each person is challenged to do one act of kindness for someone else each day.

It is, after all, what Jesus would do.

The kids are having fun coming up with things, even though their logistics are somewhat limited at ages 5 and 8. It has already been fruitful, and it’s only December 5th.

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