*Please note: this post contains affilitate links. You can read my disclosure policy here.*
I am frequently asked how I manage to shop for five kids every Christmas. My husband and I start talking about what we want to get the kids for Christmas around October. He usually tells me,
“Let’s think about it,” or
“I’ll think on it.”
And then I bring it up a dozen more times between Halloween and Christmas even throwing my ideas out there to which his response is usually a far off:
“Let’s look into it.”
Until about a 7-10 days before Christmas where he proposes the same answer and I finally say,
“We are out of time to think”
So I then take to Amazon (thank you Prime shipping for being there for the ill prepared) and load up my cart on whatever looks cute and threaten my kids lives not to touch any boxes delivered before Christmas.
We usually have no method to the madness, spend way too much money, and end up donating most of their gifts throughout the year. Sure a ton of gifts looks fun under the tree, but they get overwhelmed with too many options. There is usually trash everywhere and half the toys go untouched.
So, this year, in line with our debt payoff journey, we have decided to be intentional, mindful if you will, in our gift giving.
Side note and grammar disclaimer: there may be too many commas in that last sentence; but, I have never been good with comma usage.
Back to the point.
Several years ago, I read about a four gift rule: give something they want, something they need, something to wear, something to read.
This year, we have decided to implement it and let me tell you I am really excited about watching them open these gifts that we have really thought about.
I thought I would show you what I’ve been thinking about this year and what they might be getting under the tree because Lord knows I’ve hemmed and hawed too many years of having no idea what to get and then throwing in the cart anything just to have something!
Let’s start with the good ol’ elf tradition we implemented a few years ago. This came about because I needed my kids to believe that their was a tattle tale among us. That Christmas would be cancelled if they didn’t get their ish together.
You can feel the love, right?
Enter Peter Elfy.
Ours is a tradition of hide and seek. He hides after he returns from his North Pole tattle tale adventures each night. Each morning, the kids wake up and run around to find him.
You can read more about that here.
Insert shameless plug.
Anyway, needless to say, we not fancy here.
Except on St. Nicolas Day (December 6 this year for those who also celebrate).
On this day, Peter will bring a gift from the North Pole as well as a story about the origins of St. Nicolas and the reason for the season. This is my attempt to teach my kids both the meaning of Christmas and keep some magic in the season. This way, I’m not lying to them as I’ve heard so many parents say, but instead we are “keeping the magic alive”.
If you want to know my oldest’s response to this truth/being lied to for the first decade of his life, you can read that here.
Insert yet another shameless plug.
This year, Peter was planning on bringing a nativity set that I have had my eye on for years. This year, I was early enough in my planning that I could actually get one!
Fisher Price Nativity Set—> Check it out here!
But the little sneaks went into my closet, looked around, and found it early. Don’t worry, their eternal happiness has since been threatened so they will stop snooping before Christmas. But that leaves Peter a gift short and back to the drawing board.
He is contemplating bringing this children’s Bible with him.
In the meantime, this little toy has already been played with on the daily. It has also opened up questions from my kids as to who was present on the night Jesus was born. It has also led to discussion about a who’s who in the Bible.
Hashtag worth it.
If you are like me and late to the elf party by all social media standards, but looking to start an elf habit, I got it linked up for you here!
For those who may want a less secular practice, try this take on the elf here- A Star From Afar!
Either way, I hope you are celebrating the season with traditions that bring you joy.