Monday, December 06, 2010

More with Less Monday: Holidays Part 2

We caved and bought a Christmas tree this year.  It's small and overpriced... and I love it!

We had a good conversation about gifts last night with Jonathan's family and it made me think.  We don't like having a lot of stuff.  In fact, I am known for compulsively getting rid of stuff and then wishing I would have saved it.  (Are there support groups for anti-pack rats?)

As I said before, Jonathan and I are not gift givers.  In fact, we've never given each other Christmas gifts.  But, with a kid in the picture it will become more difficult in the future.  Our plan/policy is this:

Jesus received three gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.  Therefore we will only give 3 gifts to our kids within our immediate family.  That will keep it simple and [hopefully] help them to understand that life is about more than stuff.

It's important to us that our kids grow up in a simple household where they don't get carried away with materialism.  I am so thankful for the ways my parents taught us to be responsible with our money.  We grew up in a very wealthy city and though we always had what we needed, it wasn't at the standard the Boulderite culture demanded.  I drove a 1984 Toyota Camry through high school when the cars around me were 2000 Jeeps and Audis.  When we ate out, we ordered from the kids menu and only drank water.  I learned how to live on less than those around me were living.  I will admit that it was tough for me at the time and I felt very deprived.  (I still can't turn down soda when it's offered to me because we were only allowed 1 a week growing up.  It's probably the middle child in me feeling deprived.)  But, just like the YEARS AND YEARS of piano lessons I was forced into by my mom, I'm thankful for it now.

So far, we've done well on more with less in Rory's 4 months of life outside the womb.  We were given tons of stuff [which we are so thankful for!] but have managed to stay away from anything that's battery operated and takes up lots of space.  Our splurges [all gifts!] were an infant holder, a baby bathtub, and a bumbo seat.  I'm not going to say I don't appreciate electronic things though.  Rory can fall asleep in a swinging chair in no time and it's nice turning on a mobile and walking away rather than running in and re-swinging it when she starts to fuss.  I also realize and acknowledge that this is a very personal conviction and lifestyle choice and am in no way criticizing others who do differently.

For those of you with kids, what do you do when Christmas and birthdays come around?  What's one thing you're going to change about holidays this year?


Jen said...

we are doing 3 gets for our kids too. i want our gift giving to look a little something like this:
1 homemade gift. which means i need to step it up in the crafty area as a mommy. this year owen will get a homemade CARS blanket made by ME! one "fun" gift. and maybe one educational gift. Like a book or something??? Not sure how we want this to look for sure, but these are my thoughts so far.

the Beckster said...

i'm commenting on everything tonight.:)

a note from my family: one thing i really appreciate now that I'm older is something that spilled over from my mom's childhood. whenever my brothers and I said we wanted to needed anything after, say, sept. 1, we always heard the words "you'll have to wait for christmas!" my parents tended to over-do the gifts, but they were probably 80% stuff we needed anyway. it felt fun to get gifts, but they doubled as stuff they would normally buy us like a new bike, underwear, shoes, a vacuum (yes, that was a college gift), towels, etc.

thrifty, nifty! but as i think about it now, it did help me be less materialistic, and definitely helped me stay away from the "I want, I need it NOW" tendency.

I learned how to wait.

love, love your posts!!

Brecken said...

We've been doing 3 gifts for our kids for a few years now. (Although they "share" bigger a train set this year.)

It's been great.

Unfortunately, other gifts creep in...We give PJs though on Christmas Eve to listen to the Christmas story in. (And they DO get one small gift from "santa".)

The hard part is trying to tame the family. 2 sets of divorced parents + loving aunts/uncles = spoiled kids.

Haven't quite figured out what to do about it yet...