I have been seeing more of this as late and I’m actually super happy to hear that others are trying it out. A couple years ago my hubby and I gave zero gifts to each other or our three kids for Christmas. Ok, I know you must be thinking that I am cold and heartless and I have now robbed my children of a magical memory that will never be replaced….well, maybe you aren’t.
I have been to places where I have seen children begging for something, ANYTHING from you because you are a white American. I have seen a child’s face light up when they discovered a baby wipe can clean their face without water. It’s heart breaking and hope building all at the same time.
How do we open our children to this experience without hauling them to a third world country? How to we teach them compassion for those that have less? How to we instill a strong work ethic and to earn what they get? How do we teach them that when they earn and purchase what they want that it is not the thing that makes them happy but the earning?
For these reasons I chose to opt out of gifts. It was pretty awkward Christmas morning. I gotta admit most of my family probably didn’t see where I was coming from. But I learned that my kids were very understanding. Now when we see an angel tree in the store we talk about each child that will go without. We look for ways to help the hurting instead of making lists for our newest “wishes”.
This year we are doing small gifts (nothing over $10). The kids are purchasing with their own money. One gift per person from each person – there are five of us. It’s perfect. It’s all we need.
We are also being a bit sneaky and playing secret santa to a dear friend who has faced a loss. More to come on that….LATER.
FYI we did take a ski trip in February and Christmas week we went shopping for snow clothes so there was some purchasing involved. Just not on the actual day!