From the time we had our first child we decided that we would try our very best not to spoil them. We'll leave that up to grandparents. So this year our oldest, Ethan, is really starting to understand what Christmas is all about. He knows presents are a big part of it, so I am constantly reminding him that the real meaning of Christmas is to celebrate Christ's birth and to serve others. Not that I don't remember what it's like to be little, waiting in eager anticipation for Christmas morning. I know it's exciting. But looking back it's not the presents I remember, it's the time I spent with my family and the special family traditions we had. So we have decided to keep it simple this Christmas and give just 3 presents to each of our children, we tell them that Jesus received three presents from the three wise men. Ethan thinks that great! I love the innocence that little one's have. I have friends that are doing this with their families as well. We hope to keep this tradition and start new traditions of service rather than opening tons of presents. My kids are little, so it's hard to take them to the to the food bank or homeless shelter just yet. Instead we're making treats to take to neighbors and friends. And we'll spend Christmas Eve carrying out a tradition that I had as a child, visiting people that have no family on Christmas Eve and maybe attending a church service. I know that may sound weird because we're LDS and our church doesn't have a Christmas service on Christmas Eve. Because I was raised Catholic, it just doesn't feel like Christmas without attending a beautiful Christmas mass or service. I know it will be next to impossible to find one in Provo, UT, so we'll probably venture to SLC. Ryan's family usually goes skiing on Christmas Eve. Because our kids are so little that's probably not going to be practical. And I just want to keep it simple this Christmas. Not only is it less stressful, it's economical too! Oh yeah, and we're not giving our kids super expensive gifts to make up for the small number (although Ethan and Lily are getting a Power Wheels Ford truck from Grandma and Grandpa, a very generous gift.)
I would love to know what others think about the simple gift giving. Would you do the same with your kids?
By the way, I'm listening to Delila on the radio and wonderful Christmas music as I'm writing this :)
ok i love that you just admitted to listening to Delila. I do too, but I try to keep it under wraps :)
It's so hard for me since Guille's birthday is two days before Christmas. I want him to have a full birthday experience, but not go crazy on Christmas either. This year, besides the stuff in his stocking, he's getting a bike. I wrapped up the helmet, too, because why not. I got the baby one stuffed toy.
I've been trying to talk about Christmas as being Christ's birthday, but I think Guille is a little confused with his own birthday being around the same time.
How about going to the new church in Orem for mass?
I completely agree. As I've gotten older it's hard to understand what all the "fuss" is about. Since I've lived away from home and have had my own children holidays are more about getting together with family and being together, laughing (reminiscing on old times) and catching up. The only stress for us is maybe the traveling part but other than that we don't worry about gifts, for anyone. If I see something that I think my parents, sister or hubby would really like then I get it but most of the time we just focus on what fun game we can play when we get together or meal we can cook. We too have decided to get Madison only one gift and well Jex he's too young to know the difference so we'll just let him help with unwrapping Madi's gift. I know she's getting a couple other things from her grandparents and I'm feeling great. I remember being completely spoiled as a child but fortunately learned quickly that my parents were spending more than they should. I don't want Madi to experience that. Thanks for sharing your ideas because hopefully more families will keep it simple as well and then when our kids are older they won't be the only ones :o) You know how hard it is when your older and go back to school after Christmas break and hear all the over the top gifts that kids get. sorry this is getting long but I think your idea of going to a Christmas mass is wonderful. I grew up going to mass too and I feel like it's helped me appreciate more fully my testimony of the Gospel.
sorry about the double post. not sure how that happened!
Claudia: No worries, I removed it.
Tiffany: I happy to hear I have a fellow Delila listener! She is so cheery, I can't help but listen.
Azucar: I will have to check out the church in Orem. Do you know the name, or where it's located?
Susie, It was so fun to receive your comment on our blog! I love your approach with Christmas gifts for your kiddos, who are adorable! I can tell you love being a mom! Are you guys in Provo?
Hey Liz! We are in Provo. I heard you might be coming to Provo soon for school. Is this true?
Claudia: I didn't know that you were raised Catholic. I agree with you, there is something special about those beautiful Christmas Eve programs. I think it helps the children grasp the true meaning of Christmas too, and helps their testimony grow as well.
My Mom is LDS and my Dad is "Catholic" so I would go to mass with my Grandma whenever I could. But my Mom took us to church every Sunday by herself. So I wouldn't say I was "Catholic" you know :o)
Great post tthankyou
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