A few years back my husband and I decided to downsize Christmas in the gift department. Not that we are a couple of Scrooge’s but our family already celebrates several birthday’s around the holidays and it makes sense to us that a birthday should be a big deal for the person who was born on the special day. What does Jesus get excited about on his birthday? People loving other people, giving without guilt or obligation, sacrifice, service etc.
It definitely helps that our birthdays fall like they do otherwise we may not be able to stick to our guns. We came up with a gimmicky plan. Three gifts for each child to represent the gifts of the magi to the baby Jesus. My husband would be mortified if I didn’t tell you that, NO we don’t really think they only gave three gifts. That is a myth, there were likely many wise men and many more than three gifts. But, since three is tradition we stick to three gifts for the kids.
I had already picked up two gift for each child over the past few months. Yesterday I had an idea and I allowed each of the big boys to shop alone with me and pick out something for the other. In my mind I set a dollar amount (max $30) and went with them to the toy section.
It was absolutely precious to see their giving heart. Not once did either boy say “ooh I hope I get…” or “I really want…” Both of them set to work evaluating each option and weighing the amount of joy his brother would get out of a particular gift. They were so thoughtful! My six year old even remembered some things that his big brother had enjoyed at friends houses and tried to find something similar to the toys he knew have already been enjoyed.
Truly, I expected a completely different experience with my young boys alone (not interrupted by siblings) in the toy aisle to choose from the racks and racks of enticing things! We generally avoid the toy section like our lives depend on it. Who know that may be true. Ha!
I am SO PROUD of them and in the end both picked gifts well under the dollar amount I had in mind.
Today we wrap presents and come up with a plan for keeping Pee Wee from knocking down the tree and unwrapping packages.