Saturday, December 6, 2014

A Better Kind of Christmas Lists for Kids

This year we are trying something a little different with our oldest two boys (aged 8+ and 11).  Anthony and JR love to search endless for fabulous gifts to put on their Christmas Lists.  They have their lists done on the computer now, color coded for priority with a lovely key at the top.  This allows easy access for this online mamma shopper (Anna is not fun in stores now), and it allows them to add to the list at any time.  Anthony's includes this…

Please just remember what 
Christmas is all about. 
Notice: Any gifts will be accepted, 
but this is my preference. 
(AKA; it’s the thought that counts, 
and I’ve never known my family 
to give me anything I did not have
 any use for or enjoy.)

Well, it is nice to have that disclaimer since he is certainly not getting everything on his list, and will get much that is not on the list (like socks since he keeps stealing ours).  

Usually I try to have most of the shopping done before Advent, but in my attempt to simplify I have done much less shopping in general this year and have very little in my gift/craft closet.  Last year I did NO shopping because of my little fall, so I really do need to add a little cash to our economy this year.   My thought is that I can do online shopping easily this year and go for quality rather than quantity… we will see.  Anna is a handful in a store as many of you with kids in the 1- 4 age range probably relate to. 

Back to the topic at hand.

I drew Anthony away from his web surfing for 'stuff' and requested that he write out a list of all the things he is planning on giving others.  
In our family, the kids swap gifts with one another, Dad and I give a gift or two or three, and Santa brings a modest something as well.  Sometimes we do a larger gift for the family as well.  Next year it may be a dog…but not this year. I miss Flint too much and just can't potty train another 'child' right now.  If baby-fever gets bad this year, maybe we will do a canine Father's Day gift.  This is the longest stretch I have gone not-being pregnant.  But I digress… again...

Anthony listed out the family members (myself not included at my request since I need to see all these lists), and wrote out what he was planning to give them.  He did some online looking, he researched, and all-in-all spent a nice hour on it.  I wrangled JR to do the same and had PEACE in the home while I showered!  Dad had taken the girls out for breakfast on one of their Daddy-Daughter Double Dates.

The boys lists were dramatically different.  Anthony listed one thing per person and even mentioned where I could find such items.  JR listed 15 items to give his brother.  Two items for Gracie (since one was the same item Anthony was planning to give), and one for Anna.  He already has his dads gift purchased so that was easy.

I then sent them "shopping" online to find the items for their sisters within a certain price range, then they moved on to finding fun things for their cousins too.  It was a wonderful morning!  Instead of "I want I want I want" I heard "Mom you have GOT to come see this - she will LOVE it".

So I think we are on to something.  A little trick to turn the "I wants this" into "she will love this", and may they find real joy in GIVING!

Advent Blessings!

Side note: We Adopt-a Family with Saint Vincent De Paul which is a wonderful family experience since the kids help shop for the kids we have "adopted".  They are able to see what a complete Christmas looks like for some families - where ALL the gifts under the tree are the ones that we have provided.  For a family of means (like ours), it is helpful to give them perspective on what the 'real world' is like.  With this program you deliver the wrapped and tagged gifts yourself, along with a full Christmas Dinner.   It is fabulous so if you are able to give a little more to someone with much less consider it this year.  They are also part of the $400 tax-credit donation program so if you haven't already allocated your working-poor tax credit for the year, please prayerfully consider this very worthy agency.

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