This post sat in my drafts for 3 years! It still applies today though, we stuck to the 3 gift Christmas so I decided to post since it did, in fact, work out.
I waited until after Christmas to post this to see if it would actually work out (I don’t like being a hypocrite if I can help it).
This year, we decided to try the 3 Gift Christmas. I can’t remember which blog I read about it on last year, but it was intriguing.
For me and my husband, Christmas memories were always of a tree sitting on top of a mountain of colorful packages. It was exciting! It was wonderful! And it was slightly greedy. Nothing on our Christmas morning was about the birth of Jesus. Nothing was about the reason for the season. It was all about us and the stuff we were getting.
I recall unwrapping boxes and boxes and while everything was super exciting to “get”- as the days inched on, we only ended up playing with or using maybe 1/3 of the gifts we got. Out of all the things my parents spent their money on, there would be maybe 3 things actually stuck around long enough to get their money’s worth out of it.
But it is not just about the money that was wasted.
My 6 year old is “privileged”. She honestly thinks that every.single.time she goes with her Grammy, that she is entitled to a trip to Target to buy a toy or two. It could be that her love language is Gift getting (Lord help me if it is). Or it could be that Grammy buys her stuff when she is with her, so the assumption has been taught.
Either way, I do not want to train up kids that have the “gimmies”. I don’t want to go into debt to satisfy their need for colorful boxes, and I do not want their love bought. I want them to know that happiness does not come from stuff and they can’t take those made in China toys to heaven with them.
When I discovered the 3 Gift Christmas, it was the Lord giving us an answer to the present present problem.
The idea behind it is that Jesus only got 3 gifts (that are really mentioned) so why should we get more? The 3 gifts represent Gold, which is the item they really really want, Frankincense, which is something that connects them to family and God, and Myrrh, which is a personal item for beauty or health.
For my 6 year old, she got a pair of 100% real sterling and tanzinite earrings, a beginner children’s bible and a scooter for her beloved doll.
The 3 year old got a Veggie tales book set, her very first doll, and a set of pans for her kitchen
The 2 year old boy got a Tonka truck, Duplo blocks and a Fire truck.
We also got them a “together” gift which was a 24 pack of play-doh and filled their stockings with small items, natural candy, headbands,play silks, toothbrushes and replacement things for some of their other toys.
And you know what, they have been playing with every item they got. Because they did not get overwhelmed with stuff and we got them things that they actually wanted, we did not waste money on things just to wrap them, and they did not toss things aside just to play with the 2 things they wanted.
We talked about the 3 gift Christmas beforehand and they were in agreement (at 6 and 3 you don’t really have a choice anyway). They knew that it was only a rule in our household and that they were still going to get items from all the Grandparents anyway, which is another reason for limiting what we gave them.
To make Christmas about fellowshipping, love, and family we once again did the Advent Calendar so each day we did something together.
My kids were more than blessed this year and will continue to be for years to come and we can do that with only 3 things under the tree for each of them.
In the words of The Grinch, “Christmas, it seems is so much more”.
Would you ever consider having a 3 gift Christmas?