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Presents! How we handle them ~ Part 1

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Chasing Babies... Growing in Grace: Presents! How we handle them ~ Part 1

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Presents! How we handle them ~ Part 1

This time of year brings one thing to the forefront of our minds more than any other.  Sadly, it's often not Jesus as we wish it were.  At least not for all of us... and probably not for most children. 

Sure, we focus on Him.  We worship him.  Talk about Him.  Sing songs about Him.  But how much time do we spend doing those things compared to the time we spend on presents? 

And I'm not saying it's all bad.  Nor am I saying I'm not in the loop with the rest of "everybody".  Not all of our focus is on the getting.  All the weeks leading up to Christmas are filled with shopping, crafting, baking and deciding what to do about "so and so's" gift.  Right?

In past years we took the "we don't give gifts" approach.  Yep.  Pretty lame.  We still did a little something for the guys at the office, and if my mom was in town, we'd find something for her.  Otherwise, nothing.  The idea of spending money we had little of on something we were buying just for the sake of sending a gift didn't sit well with us.  So we didn't.  I hated it because I love giving presents... but we didn't just the same.  And it was great.  No stress.

Last year we tried something new.  We sent gift boxes from Cherry Republic (Yum... and with $5 gift shipping!) to each of the homes where Christmas would be celebrated.  We figured that would cover most parents and grandparents and extra people as well.  Sadly, with extenuating family issues, it backfired on us.  Oh well.  We tried.

This year we decided to try something different.  And, sadly, I can't tell you anything specific.  (That's the pesky part of having family read your blog.)  What I will share is a bit of my gift giving philosophy (for this year anyway.)


Here we go.

If we're going to give a gift, it must be special or it must be useful!

Oh... and it must not be expensive.  That part just goes without saying in this household...  we kind of need a new car that will fit 6 in the next few months.  Or the oldest will have to be strapped on top of the car for family outings.  And he doesn't want to.  (Kids!)

Sooooo... this year I've been busy.  And, just say yes to stress, I've been hand making most of our gifts (except the ones My Beloved is doing.)  And I've been loving it! 

Ok... a few more thoughts:

  1. We don't give to everyone we know.  Family and a few select others.  
  2. I'm not baking this year. (Like I have time for that!)  No cookie plates or candy tins.  No.
  3. I'm learning new skills while I work.  Each gift I give is something I'm working toward learning.  This means it's either crochet or free motion quilting for this year's Christmas list.  (Any of you have little themes like that?)
  4. In as many cases as possible, we've chosen something that will be helpful in the event of hard times ahead. 

Gift Giving for the Children:
Gifts for our children is another matter entirely.  Over the years we've only gifted a few select things to them that are specifically "from us".  They get so many things from grandparents, and they are still so young, that they don't notice what is from whom and don't care for that matter.  A few times for birthdays or Christmas there has been something that I wanted to be from us, otherwise I just farm out the ideas (more on that in Part 2).

This year... for those of you who want to know, we are giving each of the older kids something that is "from us".  For Tornado (just turned 5) we have a Tinker Toys set we bought several years ago with plans for "when he's older"... and now he is just that.  And for Sweet Pea, I'm going to put together her first sewing kit (more on that once I've actually done it).  And that's it.  Simple.  Little Man is still going to be more excited about the wrapping paper anyway. 

Tomorrow I'll let you in on how we do gift receiving. 

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