Wednesday, November 14, 2007

We Three Kings

Changing things up a bit this Christmas at our house....as far as the gifting goes. I had read an article several years ago in a parenting magazine about the gift tradition that this one particular family did. I really liked it at the time, thought, "that would be a neat thing to do" with absolutely no thought that we would ever consider it.
Now, after several Christmases with small children, we have considered, and adopted it for our tradition this year.
Each of our children, (plus Corey and I) will receive THREE gifts this year. This will be a remembrance of the three gifts presented to Jesus by the Magi.
One gift will be something we want.
One gift will be something we need.
One gift will be something that the family can all enjoy.
This was a tough decision, as it is difficult to not go crazy at the toy store with buying every cool new toy and fun thing you see. But, as a blessed family with many close relatives nearby, our children have the priveledge of getting pretty much whatever they want/need throughout the year...so it doesn't all have to be over the top at christmas. The other reason for this is for there actually to BE a reason for getting gifts for ourselves at all at Christmas! We aren't crazy about the whole Santa thing. When Katie was first born I just felt silly pretending about Santa, lying about it, feeding these ideas in her head...it just seems strange and improbable that a guy, for no reason whatsoever, would travel around the world sneaking into people's homes dropping presents. WEIRDO! Then, my friend, shared with me how her family never "believed in" Santa but just pretended and how it was JUST as magical and special to them. It didn't ruin their lives or the surprise of the holiday and gifts. She has taught her son about the fun of "pretending" that Santa brings gifts (but how he isn't a REAL person) and he has a blast leaving cookies that they will "pretend" that Santa will eat, etc.
So, as I was already on the bandwagon, it didn't take much convincing to throw the Santa story out the window. Not that it isn't fun to pretend, kids love pretending...so why lie to them? They know that there are no such things as unicorns and fairy princesses, but they still have fun pretending.
So...at our house, the tradition changes this year. I am looking forward to actually playing with each and every one of the three things our children get. Taking the time to enjoy each one, to discuss WHY we are getting these presents and what it means. Talk about what we can/did for others for this holiday to make it better for others since we are so richly blessed with "stuff."
I guess between my last two posts I am looking more and more like the eccentric mom here. But...it's not like I am crazy about everything. My kids have chores, are respectful, have healthy imaginations, love to play together, enjoy life...they are having just as much fun as other kids...if not more I think!
anyway...go ahead and post your comments...
Oh...and for my friend who has so many great ideas:
I am really not a stalker trying to be you and copy everything your family does! I just think we are long lost kindred spirits and now you are helping me "out" all the ideas I have had since now I can say "well...she does it so I am not the only crazy mom thinking of this!" thanks!

2 comments:

andysbethy said...

You are fabulous. Enough said. Talk to you tomorrow!

Sandra said...

As you can see, Carrie, I REALLY don't read my e-mail very much. I love your blog and I love hearing about your wonderful family.
Your children are so lucky to have parents who realize that the time you spend raising them now determines the outcome of their life.
I think Billy and I knew that but we weren't as well equipped as you to do
such a good job. We learned though and got better over time.
I think your ideas about the material side of Christmas are GREAT! I wasn't comfortable either with the whole lying about Santa thing so Billy dressed up as Santa and brought presents on Christmas Eve and as Hannah and Brannen got older they gradually recognized him. Last year Hannah refused to participate in the "material side" of Christmas and because our family was adamant on buying something we found heifer.org where you can purchase animals for people in third world countries to enable them to support themselves and their families. Also when Aura and Sara were little we took them to nursing homes where we would sing
Christmas carols to Billy's guitar. That was also special.
Please don't stop reminding me of your blog. I would probably forget to look if you didn't.
I love you.
Sandra