Thursday, December 10

Gift-giving in our family

One quick follow-up from yesterday’s post. I should have clarified one thing. I do love the snow. I love a white Christmas. I love looking out at the snow from my warm home. I don’t even mind driving in it, but I do not like to “play” in the snow. Skiing terrifies me, sledding is a close second and I hate cold, wet snow going in my boots or up my sleeves. I think that is why I felt the need to post what I did yesterday. I truly felt like I put myself in my girls’ shoes. They wanted to “play” in the snow, and I set aside how I felt about it to enjoy a moment with them. I think that is what being intentional is all about. I had so much fun because my daughters were having fun. I also wanted to share because I think I needed the reminder to live in the moment-to not be preoccupied with my to-do lists. I want more days like yesterday!

Onto my thoughts on gift-giving. . .

I think I referenced this in an earlier blog post, but early on in our marriage we decided to not go overboard for any holiday or birthday as far as gifts go. This was a harder transition for my husband than myself mainly because he grew up in a family that bought nothing throughout the year but on Christmas they went all-out. We decided we wanted to be a family that gave things throughout the year. We wanted to spend the time and money doing things as a family like going out to eat, to the movies and buying things when we wanted them (and had the money for them). We have carried this philosophy over to when we had children. We do ask the girls what they would like and go off of their lists (we sit down and talk about what they would like to put on their lists so I try to do some directing). Sometimes we are like Barb and choose to buy another gift they haven’t asked for because we think they will just love it (like this year I found a small “real” sewing machine for my 8-year-old daughter on sale. She loves to sew with me and I think she will love this gift, but it was not asked for). We also decided to purchase one larger gift and then round it out with a few smaller gifts. We try to buy the same number of presents for each girl as well. We do end up buying a lot of the same gifts for each girl since they really love playing the same things and we have found they love opening the same gifts. That really makes it easy for us. I also try to purchase small gifts throughout the year that I think they will like for their stockings. I have stopped buying their bigger gifts throughout the year since at their ages they change their minds so much, but finding small things for their stockings are easy. I also purchase a pair of new jammies that they wear on Christmas Eve when we open a gift for the family, a puzzle or a new game and then we spend time playing or doing the activity as a family. I guess my basic philosophy is I want my children to experience the joy of giving and getting gifts, but I do not want it to be the main focus of our celebrations. I love the time we spend after opening presents eating breakfast and playing as a family.

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