#trashouttuesday / how many gifts do you buy your kids for Christmas?

the daily Starr trash out tuesday

Last year I heard someone talking on the radio about how many gifts their children were getting for Christmas.

One lady said that she had 3 children and planned to give them 100 gifts each.

UMMMM.

ms-z4ynmkThat’s 300 gifts.

That’s insane!!

Then, they interviewed a child psychologist and asked for his thoughts on exactly HOW MANY gifts should we give kids for Christmas???

You may remember me posting about his answer on my blog last year because I love what he said:

1 gift your child wants.

1 gift your child needs.

1 gift for your child to share.

1 gift for your child to wear.

1 gift for your child to cherish and keep.

The idea of limiting the craziness and putting control over something that can totally get out of hand seems fantastic to me!

I couldn’t really stick to 5, but we did 10 gifts for each child – 2 in each of the categories above.

IT WAS GREAT!!!

I labeled each gift they opened with a number and we took our time on Christmas morning to draw a number and then find the present for each child.

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We still had lots of gifts, ya’ll – but there was such a simpleness to it that I loved.

We have 3 kids, so there were still 30 presents to open and it took a while! Everything was wrapped and we spent time baking cookies and having fun together instead of it being ALLL about hundreds of gifts – THAT OUR CHILDREN DO NOT NEED!

One of the gifts that I got in the “cherish and keep” category was a scrapbook for each of my girls – and printed photos from throughout the past year. It was an easy 1 hour scrapbook kit from Hobby Lobby with everything already in the books. We sat down that weekend and made a scrapbook for them to remember 2015 by, it was great!

I’m going to continue to do this each year. Their books have stayed on our coffee table and they love looking at them to remember their year.

Honestly, as I sit tonight and think about gifts my kids don’t need – my heart aches as I hear about people in the smoky mountains being evacuated and riding down streets leaving neighborhoods as they watch their houses burn.

I can’t imagine.

And the awful reality? There are people in our own backyard that go hungry. Kids that won’t eat during Christmas break because they don’t have a school lunch provided. There are families that won’t have Christmas trees.

And here I sit with my 25+bins of Christmas decor…

Something has to change – and it can start with me.

Today is #givingtuesday – a day marked after all the craziness of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. A day to give back to your favorite non-profit.

We loaded up our car this morning with a trunk full of items for our local pregnancy center and some other items for Goodwill.

How about you? Will you join me? How about gathering items tonight and putting them at your front door to drop off tomorrow to someone that needs them?

We can each draw a line in the sand and say no to this culture of entitlement and being excessive. We can start. We can be the change we want to see.

And that legacy will live on through our kids and for generations to come.

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Have you planned a limit on gifts for children in your family this year? Last year was the first time I put effort into sticking to a plan and limit. This control did not take away from our ability to enjoy Christmas and all that it has to offer. After all – Jesus IS the reason for the season!

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14 replies to “#trashouttuesday / how many gifts do you buy your kids for Christmas?

  1. We do the 4 gifts. Something you want, something you need, something you wear, something you read. My three grown children have a hard time coming up with four things. However, this is helpful with my fourth child (teenage girl) and causes her to think long and hard about what she really wants for each category. We also give to and serve our community all year and this has helped open her eyes to the needs of others and putting them first.

    1. Love this Meg! People commenting on Facebook are sharing similar themes as you and you’re the first to talk about serving as well! Thank you! I like carrying the numbers as they get older too! Fantastic ideas!

  2. I love the idea of f drawing numbers. We started taking turns several years ago and it slowed down the time as well. I work in head start and in see those kids that come in on Mondays hungry from no food over the weekend. I am. Blessed beyond measure that in serve a mighty God and I do want to always put him first in this season. Thank you.

    1. Thank you, Hope! Our daughter goes to a Title 1 School and so those hungry kids are literally sitting next to her in the classroom. I just can’t ignore that fact and get caught up in this culture of crazy materialism any more. We are truly so beyond blessed. May God help us remember to serve others this Christmas!

  3. This is the first Christmas that Grant will not get “”the spread” from Santa. He officially knows it is us! He is 12! 😳We are each getting one thing we really want and other things we need. I love the breakdown and gift categories. I think this will be our new tradition. Thank you so much for everything you share. It is such a blessing to continue to follow. You are a blessing. Merry Christmas and I am sure we will talk before the New Year! Phil 1:3 Gina

    1. Hi Gina!! Always love hearing from you, friend!! I’m just here living real life and sharing our craziness. Thank you so much for always reading and commenting. I pray your family has an amazing Christmas!!!

  4. I haven’t set a limit on my children although we have talked about going through our toys and giving some to children in need to make room for the new ones while giving to those who don’t have. Clay is really fond of the idea. My best friend and I agreed to do three small gifts to each other, to symbolize the three gifts baby Jesus got from the wise men. Just a simple way to remind ourselves it’s not about us. I really like this idea and thought about using with the kiddos so we don’t forget the sacredness of the holiday because who are we to get more gifts than He did? It’s tough trying to only pick three gifts for them though as I love to watch them open gifts and get excited. I try to do all things in moderation! Haha

  5. My children are all grown up so we don’t send gifts anymore. But I do like the idea of a scrap book. Think maybe this year we will send a letter telling them of our love. (we are all to far apart to see each other.) My daughter does the cleaning out of clothes and toys each year and gives to Goodwill. The girls give away lots of their toys and clothes that have been “gently used”. They are only getting 3 gifts this year. The girls seem ok with this. So less is more.

    1. The 3 gifts are so popular! Definitely something to consider. And the scrapbooks are so fun. A letter will be something they can cherish for ever!

  6. 7 is the number of completion. So this year I did 7 for each child. They will have a stocking as well. But 7 gifts to unwrap.

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