How cutting back on Christmas gifts has become a blessing
This year my family is cutting back on Christmas gifts. Though my husband and I usually like to get as much as we can for our two sons, we now find ourselves in a place where it just doesn’t make sense for a couple of reasons.
First, we recently moved abroad to Germany where we’ll be for the next two years, so buying a bunch of things means we’ll have more shipping expenses when we move back home.
Second, our kids are growing up and don’t always want what we pick out anymore. They’re developing their own interests and identities, and as a result, they want to have a say in what they wear or the type of things they play with.
This has left us in quite the predicament. Neither my husband nor I like the idea of giving our boys money for Christmas (okay, maybe we do a little because it's easy). Instead of having one card under the tree, we want them to have fun opening presents. That’s why we’ve been brainstorming some creative gift alternatives that will still excite our kids.
Here are three things our kids will be getting this Christmas…(don’t tell):
- Extra video game time. At our house, this is a valuable thing. My boys each get 20 minutes per day to play video games. This year they’ll be able to cash in “gift certificates” for more. Varying in size--some are an additional ten minutes, and some range up to 45 minutes--I’m sure they’ll bring smiles.
- Date night cards. These cards can be spent on a night out with one of us or the whole family. They can choose from dinner, a movie, bowling, and a few more things on a list we put together.
- Get-out-of-work-free cards. These can be used to get out of a certain chore for a week if they don’t want to do it.
It seems that new ideas creep into our minds each week, but these are the ones that have stuck. I like them because they’re simple, but also useful to my boys. I can see them getting excited about their gifts this year. Not only that, but these things will help redirect our focus as a family. Rather than focusing on the commercial side of the holiday, we’re giving ourselves and our boys more family time and time to do the things they love.
What other things would you add to my list? Share in the comments, and let’s help each other out.