You can probably get most of it at the thrift store too. Assorted cards, with envelopes and stamps is great, if they are still able to write. We are far from wealthy, but we re rich in love and chocolate. Tweet Share Plus One Pin it.
I go one further. I have 4 grandchildren, and not a lot of money. I have no credit cards, so, all of my gift buying, making is within budget. Nowhere did Robin say those 3 gifts were from Santa. Not everyone follows your Bible, and even for some that do, Santa is about magic, tradition, and giving. My children still trust me, and to indicate otherwise is either an attempt to troll, or downright ludicrous. So we feed them all this junk about Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, etc and wonder why they question if Jesus is real once they learn the truth.
I knew it was about celebrating Jesus coming to this world for us and I never had an issue with it as a child and grateful for it. I also gew up poor and often wondered why we got so much stuff when my parents could barely pay the rent. It actually stressed me out as a kid. I too am Christian and understand the real meaning of Christmas.. Although not dressed in a Santa suit??? Santa and the magic of Christmas is in most everyones hearts……relax and enjoy this beautiful season….
But the spirit of the holiday was in Santa! Jesus said the bottom line is love God and love others. It saddens me also that Christians are often mean in the name of righteousness. I am a Christian and none of us are perfect. That is the love that Jesus talked about. That is why he came. Well I used to buy my children many many gifts. Most were cheap dollar store item or even less cost because what they really loved was opening presents.
I literally wrapped things that they already owned a couple times. So I think the idea is crap. I would certainly get in trouble is I did that too my wife. Here honey, here is a new blender, sweater and a book that you probably already read. Yes, sometimes less is more. But to imply that if you give more than 4 gifts you are somehow a bad person is ridiculous.
I mean if you wait until Christmas to give a child something they need then what does that say about you as a parent. Well, it is not Christmas yet.
Christmas is a time of giving. Can parents go overboard? Should we relinquish Christmas to a formula of what we should give to one another? Either you are being deliberately obtuse or you are projecting because no where did she imply that.
This is all about bringing family back into the holiday and not bankrupting yourself in the process. Furthermore, this is for the KIDS. No where did it mention that this is for your spouse. Additionally, it does not imply that you wait until December to get them something they need.
It means, you look around and fill an immediate need they have at the time. Since I am basically skint most of the time, only the kids under the age of 16 get a gift. They understand not everyone has money to spare.
I agree — the unwrapping is the best part. I sometimes will buy something that has several pieces and wrap them individually just so there is more to open. Yes all of this confuses me. My kids have everything they need. And how in the world do you explain that between mom and dad and Santa you could only have 4gifts this year, when your best friend gets 50 gifts. If I had to do the four gift I would buy my son and Xbox 1 want.
A big flat screen for his room need. My children are grateful, they are kind, they help out. Personally Christmas is the only time we do go splurge and buy whatever we want. In response to VR.
The writer said she was putting a stop to the crazy madness and Christmas shopping for herself and offered a challenge to others. You are free to do as you choose. Another good one similar to the gift to share is a gift of giving.
My grandma always takes one of our gifts to give to someone else. It might be putting money towards an organization that gives teddy bears to kids in hospitals or chickens to a village in Africa.
Its a fun tradition every year to see where our other present goes. I could comment on all of these issues. However, my focus will be on the elderly. No cut flowers, they die, and most elders see them as a total waste of money. Sometimes a small potted plant that is easy to take care of, is okay for the flower lover. No hats, gloves or scarves. They have a ton already, and barely go out anymore. Food, is appropriate IF you know their diet restrictions, and personal likes and dislikes.
Baskets of fruit, etc, will normally not be eaten in time, before they spoil. Assorted cards, with envelopes and stamps is great, if they are still able to write. What elders really want? Whether in person, or a phone call. Give them the day of the week and a specific time of day.
All they really want is to hear from YOU. Hear your voice, let them know you love them, and that your always thinking of them. Give them the gift that they will look forward to.
Too busy yourself to call? Have your children call, they love the little ones in your life. Elders often miss having their own pets, so they love hearing stories about yours. If you can visit in person, know what they like to eat or their favorite drink, bring them a FRESH baked good, from a local bakery and maybe a cup of coffee, just the way they like it.
If you can afford to, bring one of each for their roommate, from time to time. Or a small box of goodies for them to share in the lonely evening hours, as their watching TV.
Be sure to write on the outside of the box, that these goodies are for everyone. NOT just the nurses. For these care givers and cleaning staff take care of your loved one, day in and day out.
Oh, one more thing to consider: Take them out for a drive, lunch, dinner or shopping! You will see your elder so happy, come alive, and cherish this special moment with you! Merry Christmas to all! Beautifully written, a gentle reminder that most people would rather forget, our elderly should be cherished not forgotten! I whole heartedly agree with this. My Grandma passed away last Christmas Day and I miss her terribly — we were very close.
I spent as much time with her as possible and called her almost every single day. I would give anything to have my Grandma here with me again, even for just an hour. My husband and I always did this for out parents as they aged, a gift card to their supermarket, gift certificates for the beauty salon and barber,gift card for oil changes gift certificate to a restaurant that was special to them.
Anniversaries we gave them a night out or in depending on their state of health , occasionally when we could afford it we would get them someone to come in for the heavy cleaning twice a month.
They were always thrilled as these were things that could at times put a strain a fixed income. We had the four gift rule also with one present from Santa. We have a giving tree at church and each child would choose a name card.
My daughter had a woman once who asked for cleaning supplies bucket, bleach, Lysol sponges etc so sad. She bought her some nice hand and skin creams, some spa socks and a gift card. My kids knew to save money from allowance, birthdays etc as they bought these gifts themselves. Please why snipe at each other. As my gran would say if you have nothing nice to say say nothing at all.
Have a wonderful holiday this year and God bless us everyone! One year we gave our 2 children and our daughter-in-law one gift that was a donation of a specific item eg school supplies for teacher daughter. I was shocked when d-i-l expressed disappointment-she WAS an adult after all!!
Somewhat spoilt it all for me. I grew up with loads of gifts each year. I like this 4 gift idea. But i think while they are younger a couple extra specifically from Santa would be ok ;. I too am overwhelmed by how many gifts children receive. It taught me to cherish what I was given. We use this, with a little modification: Because we only buy items for the kids from us.
It is four gifts total. Plus the Christmas Eve gift. You determine who they are from. Every family is different. The idea is for parents that want to save money and cut back a little from all the craziness. Read the comments as this seems to quite controversial it seems! My wife goes nuts at Christmas with gifts. We are a blended family and by the time we buy the gifts we are left wondering if we got enough for this boy or the other boy. I think this is a great solution to the problem.
This year money is going to be tight and I really do not want to go into debt like we have in previous years. My brother and I at 33 and 30 have always gotten way more than 4 gifts.
I like to buy things that have multiple pieces and wrap them all individually. To each their own. There is no wrong way to celebrate Christmas. My niece gets way too many. Last year from her mom alone it was over ! Not to mention she is a December baby. And the very suggestion of a book is like cursing someone to damnation! My name is Melony but I understand what you saying but me in my kids have nothing but thank God we are here hope you have a great holiday.
My question is does Santa bring one of your 4 gifts or is His gift separate? My Mom started the PJs forty years ago and when I did the same with my kids but added a single family movie to share and we ate pizza and popcorn while watching the movie on Christmas Eve.
My kids have always loved it and I plan to do the same with my Granddaughter for her first Christmas this year. I always get Christmas Eve jammies. I love the tradition!! Granted, it was a bit sad buying my own but I wrapped them up just like the others and it was still fun! I have been doing the jammies all my life.
My kids as young adults still love and have started looking for jammies for me now. All the presents come from Santa at our house. BUT Santa only delivers if people who love you send him money. I love this idea! Such a great way to explain the need to give to others around Christmas time! My daughter gets gifts from Santa, me, her grandparents, great grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends. I like your idea though. We love the Angel Tree and I taught both my children and my grandchildren that giving to someone else is part of sharing love.
Gift cards are a great way to go. Christine, you could make her a little gift basket. Go to the dollar tree, get a basket, some potpourri sp? I do several of those for different people every year: Have your kids if you have any make her a card with their hand-prints or something personal as a holiday keepsake. Flowers, a small fruit basket, homemade cookies, a hug certificate, promised phone calls at regular intervals. Things to look forward to…a ride in the park, a meal out, ….
I would suggest a stuffed bear or cat. My father in law loved the Braves and one year we got him a stuffed bear that we dressed in a Braves outfit from infants wear. He kept that bear until the day he passed away and my oldest now treasures it. My grandparents and great-grandmother always appreciated food and consumable gifts i. Xmas cookies if you like to bake,special card with memories that you remember to each one written or words of encouragement! Have younger family member help you with project.
Hope these spark other ideas. The stamps are a perfect addition as well. I have an older sister 90 living in a nursing home. She lived in assisted living until she could no longer afford it … it is VERY expensive. For her 90th birthday I set up an account at the home, for her to use at the beauty parlor, as needed.
A couple of my sisters and nieces added to it. My grandparents have 12 kids and about 30 grandkids, so I understand this. She has a rule: She likes to buy Avon gifts that go on clearance lotions, emery boards, etc. I hope that helps! I am the only one that is confused…lol. Christine, are you 86 or the person you are buying for? The World Market is a great place for getting unique food gifts. I am 72 and bed ridden.
Your comment made me smile. Reminded me of something my mom would have said. She was one that always went overboard on the gift giving for everyone but never wanted anything in return, unless it was something we made or had not spent alot of money on.
My grandparents used to give each grandchild a silver dollar for Christmas. I treasured mine because I knew it was a sacrifice for them. A nice memory photo of you and a written note on a special memory of something they would enjoy knowing about you…family history is precious.
When I was a teen my Grandma started giving us boxes of chocolates with a Christmas ornament attached to our name tag. I think they were the most memorable gifts I received from her, something sweet and traditional. Hand-write or type if it is difficult to hold a pen a letter to each person.
A personal memory of something you two shared remember the time when we went grocery shopping and all the oranges fell off the wagon and rolled everywhere? Or an anecdote, or a favorite Bible quote and what it means to you or whatever.
The only cost here is the paper and your time. Gifts are nice, by the overwhelming desire for most humans is just to have some devoted attention to validate the importance of their exsistence. Books are always a great idea. If you go on the Chapters website you can do one stop shopping.
They have books blankets,candles and lots of games now. Christine, if you like to cook, you can give baked goods. I loved when my grandmother baked for me. A restaurant gift card for a family is also nice.
Small treat basket for each family. Movie Theater gift cards…etc. Something for each family rather than each person. Elderly people can always used greeting cards to mail and postage stamps to go with them. A gift certificate to a favorite restaurant is always good. As far as elderly folks giving gifts, I am going to be giving some of my own jewelry to my female kids and grandkids. I also have a few dishes that the kids always admire. The Spirit of Christmas be with you all. Would love to do this but how do you do it and incorporate Santa?
Our kids are young and all gifts come from him. You would be surprised what they will just naturally except. We have a huge family 4 kids of my own[2boys2girls] and I have 4 sisters[each have 2boys] my husband has 3 siblings[1neice] and my kids have 18 living grandparents, great-grandparents, and great-great grandparents and we have extended family and friends.
Kids get a small gift each from each household some of the grandparents send money instead, and some go way beyond a gift each. Sometimes we make almost all of the gifts. My kids would not even notice if we decided to just do stockings and leave it at that.
Honestly, I try to just get each of my own children what I know they need or will soon need I even put a new toothbrush in the stockings every year and a few small items that they can use.
Also, a month before Christmas, we go through all toys and clothes and throw away broken ones and they choose ten toys to keep, and we give away the rest to a family that could use them. Your children and you, for that matter are so lucky to have your grandparents, great grandparents, etc. When my family started this several years ago, I gave my kids a heads up before the Christmas season. The kids also get a few little things in their stockings.
I have 2 children, first was my daughter. Son was born in March so he would only be 9 months old at Christmas that year. So I decided to only buy gifts for my daughter, she was with her dad until late Christmas Eve. Meanwhile my husband and I are putting out her Santa gifts and it dawned on me, she would be mad at Santa for not bringing her baby brother anything.
My behind got there in time to buy a few puffalumps who remembers those for my 9 month old. He had allergies and these were hypoallergenic. If I had not panic attack I could have told her Santa realized baby brother was young enough that he would not mind another older child getting a gift in his place. Kids are now 33 and 25 and reading these comments brought back this memory. You can make the gift they really want the one from Santa and then the other gifts from parents and siblings.
My big gift one year was an Easy Bake Oven. I just knew my parents could not afford this gift and that it had to be from Santa. I never did find out how they managed to get this, my dad was in the hospital that Christmas so maybe his parents bought the big gift. Both parents are now gone but I always remember the Oven Santa brought me. So the one they want from Santa should be the main gift. You can build around that gift. You knew Santa was bringing the bike, get them the helmet and knee pads.
You will figure it out based on the age of your kids. Wow, calm down, lady! How rude of you to assert such a mean thing about someone you know nothing about. Every family has a different perspective, circumstances, and values.
See my comment below. Yes — I was thinking the same thing.. This year, one child is getting shoes. Christmas on a shoe string… but our home is filled with peace, joy, love, blessings and contentment. Every family has a different perspective.
Or any new clothes. They get all the clothes they need throughout the year thanks to hand-me-downs, which we are very grateful for. We do what we can afford. My children do not get 4 gifts each and they have never felt neglected. I do not feel bad about being unable to afford more for my kids. They are growing up happy and healthy and learning to appreciate all the blessings they do have. I love reading these comments about simple Christmas giving. When my children were young I would have them write out their list asking for 3 special items they would like for Christmas.
Without fail, every year my son asked for socks. We start our Christmas celebrating early in December by baking and decorating, making small gifts to give to family, so the store bought gifts were never the huge part.
It was the build up of going to give our baked goods and share the holiday meals with all of our extended family that the kids looked forward to. It makes me happy to see others are the same. My kids are 27 and 29 now. We always did small gifts. The very best we did was going to the homeless shelter and give hugs and love. We would volunteer to help feed and do what was asked of us. My kids absolutely loved helping out.
We have some fond memories from many years. I will never forget the year my son received a remote control car. And our daughter received a doll. They were in the car while we were serving, the kids went to my husband and asked if he would go out and get them. There were two kids that day, that were homeless and received nothing.
My kids gave those gifts freely, on their own. One of the most proud moments of my life. To this day we still serve at a shelter or church, and so do my kids! Everyone have a blessed Christmas. With six children, six siblings plus their mates and children, Christmas was crazy for a couple of years until we started a new tradition. Each person picks out a gift and then we go around the room, one at a time, say who it was from, and open the gift.
Now everyone knows who gave them what, and the mess is non existent as we put the paper in a bag as each gift is opened. Yes, it takes a long time but that is part of the fun!
We only give one gift from Santa and as the children got older they realized we actually bought those other gifts…lol. I like the four gift idea too! Might I suggest a 5th gift? Something that they can give to those less fortunste. I recommend either something early on for Toys for Tots or winter apparel for the Salvation Army.
Many of my christmas gifts growing up where games. One year my sisters and i where given monopoly. I gave away a doll every year as a child.
As soon as our son was old enough to understand he would help shop for gift to give to a boy his own age. This became his favorite part of the season. I agree — Something that they can give to those less fortunate would make a great addition.
I started doing the same thing for my grandkids a couple of years ago. I am right there with you Cindy! With 13 grandchildren and two more on the way it gets pretty costly with six children, their mates, the kids, six siblings and parents!
Most of the adults ask for Baklava every year because I am the only one that makes it. The younger girls usually want nail polish so that is easy. The boys are a little harder. Would love some ideas for them! I love this idea. I was an only child in my mothers house and every christmas morning there were presents galore. Well atleast thats how i remembered it. I started out doing this for my kids but i have 3 now and its getting harder and harder to do it each year.
I know my 9 yr old will understand but how can i explain it to my 5 and 3 yr old?? Im tired of wasting money at christmas time when there really is no need for it. With six children and now 13 grandchildren I completely understand! We were never the family that drew names from a hat either and with six siblings it is even more! We had to save all year for Christmas so I understand how hard it can be! You could cut back bit by bit each year rather than switching things up suddenly. The kids love getting games if we sit down and play them together!
We never see her name anywhere so I had to comment. Jenn, I have only met one other and she lives 8 miles from me! People always ask if it is Gertrude. I was born at St.
Mercy and the nuns tried to talk my mom out of naming me Trudy. As my children got older they really were grateful after they realized we really got it for them. So far that explanation has worked for us! My kids always get a group gift. It is a board game every year.
They still get excited to see which one it will be. Scattagories is huge hit in our house. Also we let them open a present on Christmas Eve. I appreciate that this author is willing to share her ideas, though. We do pjs on Christmas Eve too. That sounds like 8 Christmas gifts total to me!
I had some of the same thoughts. I come from a family culture where 4 gifts each would have been a huge haul! We open a family gift of a book on Christmas Eve to read and share, and the kids usually get one present from us as parents on Christmas morning.
We say Santa fills the stockings. One thing our family has been doing 2 kids, now 9 and 11 is that we do an advent calendar that includes an activity to do as a family on each of the days. So its things we like to do anyway, but in the morning they open the day and can anticipate what the activity will be. We do things like decorate the bathroom, bake cookies, take food to the food bank, take cookies to neighbours, walk around the block to look at the lights, etc.
Our stocking stuffers from Santa include many practical items, always a toothbrush, always Chapstick, always an orange in the toe…. We also have always had the kids choose 3 toys to take to the Goodwill before Christmas to make room for anything new. We also love to wrap things in different s ways, like a book in a tomato crate from the grocery store.
Oh and living in a snowy winter area Santa always brings a sled or snowball maker or something for winter.
Well it is only one toy and a book. Then a couple of things you were probably going to buy in the next couple months anyway. You can probably get most of it at the thrift store too. They always have lots of kids clothes and books. We usually give on this principle to our 3 children 11, 8, 2.
Always a clothes item. Sometimes that becomes 2 gifts depend on their need. Last year was a full outfit and a pair of pajamas. Always a gift with a book or two depending on my thrifty finds. They all seem happy with their gifts. I actually have always gone overboard too… just as my parents did when I was small. I am doing the 4 listed in this article plus these three: To some it may still be going overboard, but to me it is cutting back. We all have our own ideas about gift giving and what our limitations are so to each their own.
After all, Baby Jesus only got 3 gifts and do you really need more gifts than that? I love this idea but how do you switch it when you have a 8 year old and 4 year old who have been spoiled on Christmas morning from the start? How do you explain it? We have huge family on both sides so it seriously gets out of control with gifts. On top of that there birthdays are November and February so it gift overload for months. Does this also work for a single mom on a budget?
This is a fabulous idea however, I am seriously on a budget. I have two kids. I am not sure if this will go. Should I split it up between me and my ex husband? While I can appreciate your efforts, I think 4 gifts is still many for one child. In my home, my kids get 2.
One from Santa and one from me. Stockings have always been a big thing to our kids and they still look forward to them! We have 4 boys and 1 daughter and now also 4 daughter in laws and a son in law, ages 23 to 34 and they still look forward to them!!
I tried to change this a few years back and they were disappointed so I have resumed this! Our family aunts, uncles, a few kids and nieces and nephews about people and instead of a large gift exchange we only give things that we make.
I made scarves one year, dehydrated fruit and apple butter another year. My one aunt gives us homemade yogurt and granola.
My niece made Christmas cards and decorated them with pine cones. Simple and easy but the Christmas joy for us is spending the time together. When our extended family gets together for the Holy days we do white elephant gift giving. Each person, all ages, brings something wrapped from their home they no longer need or use.
We either sit in a circle and go one-by-one or draw numbers or go by age. No matter how it is done everyone enjoys it. We also bring our stockings. You may bring separate gifts for the kids but it is not required.
No more need for tags, etc. They know that their own presents are the ones with the Puppies, or candy canes, etc on it. It makes it so much easier than wrapping them with random paper or all the same paper, etc. I was raised with three gifts. Something for my body, something for my mind and something for fun. I can probably go back lots of times and gifts as a child. Simple and loving… we have lost the reason for the season….
I average 12 gifts apiece for my kids, not counting stocking stuffers. I save coins all year for Christmas spending. When they were little, I literally never bought toys for them except for birthdays and Christmas.
I just liked to save everything up for Christmas so they would wake up to a room full of presents. To Christine Blandford, regarding Gifts that an 86 year old woman could do for a large family……..
There are so many ways this can be done….. At 86 you have a lot of history behind you, and preserving your life experiences for your family is a wonderful enduring gift. All the best for a wonderful Christmas!! Growing up I remember Christmas morning being magical. Time spent with family and yes what seemed like tons of gifts. I try to celebrate every holiday the way I did as a child. On Thanksgiving my children make their lists for Santa and they have 10 items they can list.
They know that it is a guideline, Santa can choose whatever he wants from that list and he may not bring it all.
He may throw in a surprise that he feels they need instead. My children have always been happy with that. Personally I too think four is too few. There is a reason why we remember our childhood as being magical.
One other tradition is we always had was Christmas pajamas and I do that with my kids every year along with each child exchanges gifts with their siblings on Christmas Eve. I have wanted to give a family favorites cookbook to my grown children now for several years. It takes a little time to do the way I want it I intend to type them all into Word and print them on beautiful paper but even handwritten cards in an index card box would work. I do this with our 5 kids….
They have never complained. The 5th gift that one mention is always a family gift. Last year we got them an old atari game set…. Because that was what they needed or asked for because they new better than to ask for anything so extravagant. When my siblings and I all were married or left home, we decided to change our Christmas gifting habits. We no longer exchange gifts. We go out to a nice restaurant for dinner just the adults.
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