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My Christmas gift plan

Over the past year, I noticed an increasing trend amongst my children: they were getting greedier and greedier.  I wonder if I should just show them the movie The Grinch and say, this is what you look like.  The greed has proliferated every area of our lives.  I see it when I'm making breakfast and my child didn't want to eat scrambled eggs and bacon.  I see it when we're purchasing gifts for family or friends when my child complains how they don't have this toy or that toy.  I see it when we're talking about doing something special and the activity isn't special enough.

My children are not happy with the everyday.

This is a problem.  I do not want my children growing up thinking that they can have everything they want. I want them to know that they are blessed to have the things that they have.  I want them to be compassionate to others who don't have basic needs.  I want my children to understand that they can make a difference to other people who are hurting...but they cannot do this with greed and envy in their hearts.

So, this year for Christmas my family and I are instituting a new gift-giving plan.  Each member within our family will be getting four gifts...and four gifts only:
  1. Something  we want
  2. Something we need
  3. Something spiritual
  4. Something to read
Something we want will be one item that we have specifically asked for - most likely something fun.  Something we need will be an item of basic need - for my children this means clothing.  Something spiritual will be an item that allows my children to understand something beyond themselves and the true meaning of Christmas: a Bible, nativity, gift in their name to a ministry, or something similar.  Something to read will be...something to read!  A book or magazine subscription that they will enjoy, but will also be educational.

This will all be happening within our immediate family.  We have told grandparents about it and some are choosing to join in to this theme with their own gift giving, but we are not requiring it because we feel that grandparents are there for a different reason than parents...they should be allowed more flexibility with their gift giving to their grandchildren.

We will also still be doing Santa gifts because we believe that Santa provides a great story in gift giving from which our children can learn.  But, we will not be going crazy with Santa gifts.  He will leave a stocking filled with the typical items we fit in them: socks, lip gloss, nail polish, Matchbox cars, etc.  Nothing too fancy.  Santa will also leave one item for each person as well as a family gift.  This will be something that we can enjoy together as an entire family; such as, a game or outing to a local attraction.

During this Christmas season, we want out children to enjoy many of the traditions they'll hear their friends tell about, but we also want to allow our children's hearts to grow when considering how much greater it truly is to give rather than receive.

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