Saturday, November 26, 2011
Reader Question: Christmas Gifts
First, I'd like to say that I LOVE when my readers contact me with questions. I typically respond privately to my readers, but I thought it would be fun to answer some of the questions here. 'Cause you all want to know, right? ;-)
So here is my first official "reader's question" post regarding Christmas gifts.
Question: "With nine children, how do afford to buy gifts for all of them? Do you limit the number of gifts or have a budget per child? Would love to know how you make this work?
This is a great question and one that I've been asked several times over the years.
The answer to this varies from year to year, however. It all depends on how much we were able to put away that year. Our goal is to give each kid three gifts, but some years it may be one or two gifts per child, and more shared gifts (like a big set of Lincoln Logs for the boys or art supplies for the little girls). There is significance in the number of gifts we give. It represents the three gifts the kings presented to Jesus. This not only serves as a good way to point our children to Christ, but it helps us resist the temptation to buy more than we need to.
We do set a budget per child, allotting more for our older kids. We ask the kids to write a list of desired gifts, and then we choose according to what the budget will allow.
As a fun tradition, we give one gift on Christmas Eve. It's always the same and the kids love it. They each get a new pajama set to wear that night. There's something so sweet about all the kids coming down in their new, warm and cozy PJ's Christmas morning! The jammies don't count toward their three gifts.
In a family of eleven, and one income, Christmas can become an overwhelming time if we let it. We love giving our children gifts, but our main purpose for celebrating Christmas is Christ. Remembering this helps us to not get caught up in the commercialism of Christmas, which can be easy to do sometimes. And our limited budget demands that we be smart about our purchases.
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It's your turn! What is your method for buying your children Christmas gifts? Set number of gifts? Set budget? Please share in the comments below!