Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Works for Me Wednesday

Three Gifts for Christmas

You may remember me talking about the three gifts we give for birthdays. We do the same for Christmas. We haven't always; it has evolved.

I once read where someone gave three gifts, like Jesus received. And I just thought that was a great idea. I mean, this should be all about Jesus. We should not be like the world buying and buying until we are in debt. And for what? What are we teaching our families and children about the meaning of Christmas.

I'm not saying there is anything wrong if you buy more than three presents. I'm just saying that Christmas shouldn't be about all the presents. So we decided to just give three. And it really works for us.

What I usually do is buy three gifts that have components to it. So one gift may have two smaller gifts. It keeps Christmas going a little longer and helps everyone feel like they are opening a lot more. No one feels deprived. Everyone is always grateful for whatever they get. I think, in big part, because we reflect the true meaning of Christmas and not what everyone is getting. No one has ever felt like they didn't get exactly what they wanted. They love whatever they get.

Here are some examples of how I've done this in the past.

One year I did a hiking theme. The three older girls each received: hiking boots, a backpack which contained (all individually wrapped) pens, pencils, notebook, trail mix, water bottle. All one gift. But each opened individually.

Ashlea got a hope chest. In it was dish towels, spatula, spoons, etc. One gift, opened individually though.

Kati and Kori got stationary, an address book, pens, stamps and address labels.

That's all I can think of right now. But I think you can get a feel for what I'm talking about and how we do things here.

I challenge you to think smaller this year.

Make traditions instead of buying gifts.

Ask your family what they loved most about last Christmas. I will be surprised if anyone says: the gift I got. (Unless that's all you do, than that is what you will hear.)

Buy less, spend more (time).


Stay tuned for more ways to make the holidays simple.


familymgrkendra said...

We do the 3 Christmas gifts also. Back in '05 someone posted a poem on a board that I visit and we read it each Christmas morning.


Three gifts ye receive on Christmas day,
To remember God’s gift of Christ, I say.
Wise men gave Him gifts, only three,
They laid them before the One to die on a tree.
Your gifts before the tree are laid
Remember on a tree your price was paid.
Praise God! Praise God, this Christmas day!

Christ’s first gift was costly gold,
Christ as our King it foretold.
A precious gift of a Ruler and Guide
To reign over our souls and minds inside.
A King who can our lives enrich, fulfill
And bend our sinful stubborn wills.
Praise God! Praise God, for love of our souls!

A second gift of frankincense, not in the least,
A present, a symbol of Christ as our Priest,
His own scarlet blood on the altar is poured,
Intercession is made and our spirit now pure.
His Father still hears of us in Jesus’ prayers
Their sweet smelling odors rise in the air.
Praise God! Praise God for in our spirits is peace!

Myrrh, third gift, precious ointment and balm,
Great healer, physician whose healing miraculous palm
Quickly restores us as He calls us by name
With compassion He cured the blind, deaf, and lame.
Our hate-ravaged bodies wilting, infected
With Christ’s victory, we are soon resurrected.
Praise God! Praise God! Immortal bodies sing a psalm!

So as upon Christ Himself was bestowed only three,
Only three gifts, you yourself will receive.
One so that faith in Christ as King may you find
A gift to be joy and guidance to your soul, yourself, your mind,
The second, Jesus as your Priest, oh, what hope, may you hear it!
A gift that might plead on your behalf and cleanse your dull spirit.
The third, the love of our perfect Healer knowing our needs
A gift that provides us things needed by earthly bodies.
Praise God! Praise God, on this Christmas day!
Let us thank Him for all His great gifts, let us pray!

April said...

We are also doing the 3 gifts this year! I agree with you I do not want Christmas to be about stuff. So I told the kids we are going to to the --something you want, --something to wear, and --something to read. I would have thought I would have heard them cry about it but no instead my son said "well mom for the something to wear I really need new socks and for the something I want I really want another Lego set". I was so pleased that the response was postitive. We have also bought the Wii and that will be a family gift.
I just wish I would have began this YEARS ago.

Michelle said...

That's a great poem. I've never heard it before. You're going to make me get even simpler. LOL.

It's amazing how easy they are to please.