Friday, December 2, 2016

How to Plan for Children's Christmas Gifts Without Stress

G, 2 years-old, celebrating Christmas 

It is the hap-happiest time of year, right? Then why do I always feel so stressed trying to decide what to get my kids for Christmas or worse know what to tell family members when they ask what my kids would like? For the past couple of years, we have had a plan which I think works very nicely.

I give my 6-year-old the Target toy catalog and a marker. I tell him to circle things that he wants. I tell him that there is no guarantee that he will get the things he circles but that I would like to know the things he likes best. Once he has circled the things he wants I sort through them and make my own list based on things I think he would really like, we think are appropriate, and level of cost. Then I make a list of the things we will get him and the things to tell relatives if they ask.

Let me back up a bit here and talk about how we do Christmas in our household. We are not big on Santa (the boys know the gifts are from us not Santa) but still try to make the holiday as magical as possible. By the way, we also talk to them about not being the anti-Santa kid at school. We gift each child 3 gifts only with a few small things in their stockings.

The three gifts are based on the idea of giving gold, frankincense, and myrrh as the wise men brought Jesus at his birth. We discovered this idea on a podcast or blog a while back. Yes, we know about the controversy that three may have been the wrong number of wise men but we do three anyway.

The gold gift is something your child really wants and is the most valuable. We discover this from our Target method above. The gold gift could be a new bike, a nerf bow and arrow (in our case this year - shhh), a Barbie Dream home--just something they'll love!

The frankincense gift has to do with something to help them grow spiritually closer to God. Like a new Bible, worship CD, Christian kids video, etc. I like to go walk around Mardel and look for something I think they would like. I think this year we will be getting this for G. Again shhh!

The myrrh gift is something for the body. We do shoes, clothes even underwear, but fun superhero underwear of course. Anything they need for their bodies that they don't have at the time.

The three gift limit really helps when I get bombarded with all the cool stuff at the store or browsing online. Since we follow this plan it really makes the holiday season a lot less stressful. Not to mention the benefit for our budget.

How do your kids come up with their wish list? I would love to hear how your family handles gifts to your children?

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