Christmas Giving

I had planned to do another “Look, Yarn!” post again today, but the fog won’t let up, and no matter how lovely the new camera, the lighting is just not right. I do have that ESK Black Friday Sale yarn yet to show off… ahem, I mean show you. 🙂 Instead, let’s talk about Christmas giving vs. Christmas getting:

I come from a very large family. A large family that gets larger every year. So, Christmas gifts were becoming somewhat of a burden on the budget. A few years ago, we decided to draw names for gift giving, and it has been just lovely. Instead of spending $10 on everyone, and not giving any good gifts (but still ending up in the poor-house), we spend more (there are no rules save one -make it good) on one person and get to really spoil them. It is so fun. And, because we draw names very early in the year, we have a lot of time to think about what we could do to give our one person a very special Christmas gift. Being a knitter, I like to give knitted things (obviously).

(This year, I drew my sister’s name. My sister and I are 18 months apart – close in age, and close in heart. I was overjoyed when I drew her name, because I knew exactly what I wanted to make for her. I ordered yarn and cast on right away. That was in March. Now, you all know that I can knit pretty fast, and this year I have churned out how many sweaters for myself? So, I am feeling a little stupid that this gift is not finished. Nine days before Christmas. Yes, I have been blaming morning sickness, and that did slow me down, but I have only been pregnant since October. Ridiculous!)

The kids (10 and under) draw names amongst themselves, and that is really fun, too. Marc and I are turned off by the commercialism and greed of Christmas, so the less presents the better. Plus, it turns our kids eyes away from themselves as they focus on one another. All year, they have been thinking about their cousin or aunt whose name they drew. They are looking forward to Christmas so that they can give, and not really for the getting. I like this.

As for what we do in our immediate family, we do not give gifts, per say. On Christmas Eve, we open a family gift (from me) that is a game we can all play together that night. Then, I fill stockings for Christmas morning, but until we go to Granny’s for the gift exchange, there are no other gifts. I do go all out on the stockings, and spend about $30 per kid, getting things they really love (American Girl Accessories, a watch, a flashlight, play silks, etc…).

Christmas Giving is really an important thing to teach the kids. Thinking about others, focusing on their happiness, and being selfless are qualities that I hope to cultivate in the hearts of my children. I think that through this, we have the merriest Christmasses of all.