We try not to go overboard on Christmas gifts with our kids, but let's be honest...it's hard. Even tho we only buy 3 gifts for each of our kids, it can be expensive. Especially as the kids get older.
I mean, gone are the days when you could get two fun toys and a cute outfit for not very much money. These days, it's technology, technology, technology.
And, instead of staying up late putting together a race-track or a bicycle...we are plugging in items to be charged so they can be enjoyed on Christmas morning.
Our kids know that we do a lot for them during the year, so it was pretty hard to get them to list a few items they would like for Christmas. Joshua wrote his list and it was so precious. He asked for sweat pants, socks, a planner, and a "wolf" calendar. The first 3 items I got at Wal-Mart in about 10 minutes...and I was able to find a calendar with a wolf on it at the mall. And I know that's 4 items...but...COME ON...
I try really hard to keep things kind of equal, but one of mine asked for a new phone "if his contract was up," and for the price of that...to keep things equal...I could've bought Joshua a case of socks and sweat pants. Just sayin'. It is pretty easy to buy for Holly, since she's a girly-girl and I shop with her a lot. I know her and I know her taste...most of the time. Holly has a December birthday, so I was able to buy her some things that were unique to her on her special day. But for Christmas, I decided to buy all the girls in our family the exact same things, or, close to it. I think it worked out well.
Logan put three items on his list and helped me order them. Two of them came in time for Christmas...one of them has yet to arrive. But he's okay with it. I also bought him a DVD from the $5 bin at Wal-Mart to put in his stocking, and he was really happy with that.
The biggest surprise came from my husband. We do not exchange gifts with each other. It's a tradition we started a LONG time ago. He just never could think of what to get me, and I could think of a 100 things to get him...and so he felt bad, I felt bad....and we decided that we wouldn't do it anymore. Early in our marriage, we would wait until after Christmas and then use any money we got for Christmas to get a joint gift...or to get things for ourselves during the after-Christmas sales.
This year, my very frugal, very predictable husband did something very generous and very UNpredictable for our family. He called and asked Clark to clean out his truck and for us to meet him at a car dealership...so we went there...and in 30 minutes we were driving home in a new vehicle. Well, new to us.
To say I was shocked was an understatement. My husband is the most thrifty man I have ever met. He is very thoughtful with our finances and does his best to save money and not make any unnecessary purchases. We have had a lot of unplanned things in our marriage...a child with life-long health and medical challenges, and another child who had health and medical issues for several years...that could've drained us financially, but because of Jim's saving and planning, we have been able to make it on one income all of these years.
As much as we have enjoyed giving gifts to our children, and to others, we know that Christmas is about the GREATEST GIFT, which is Jesus...and He came for all.
"But the gift is not like the trespass. For if by the one man's trespass the many died, how much more have the grace of God and the gift overflowed to the many by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ." Romans 5:15-17