When I was a kid, December 25 was a special day of the year. My siblings and I would wake up way too early, sneak into the living room, and find our gifts.
We’d unwrap our presents, but some of the items inside the packages weren’t what most kids at my school opened that morning. I’d open an odd assortment of toys, but my gifts primarily consisted of necessities, such as socks, toothbrush and toothpaste, a pair of jeans, a shirt or two, and new school supplies.
I remember one particular year when we had no money and no gifts. Somehow, the Marines’ “Toys for Tots” program heard about us, and on Christmas Eve they brought over three gifts for each of us. I received a small mechanical robot, a bag of army men, and some marbles. For the next several days, I played combat with the army men and whatever the marble would roll over, that army would lose in casualties.
A lot has changed since those days, but I often wonder if I asked my three children to only pick three gifts, what would they be?
The presents I give my children each year look pretty different from the gifts of my own childhood. The gifts I received were what my mom could afford, and I was grateful for them and the effort she put into making the day special.
The line between celebrating holidays and over-blowing, over-spending, or over-indulging during the holidays isn’t one I can readily define. But it is important to consider the messages you’re sending through the gifts you’re giving.
What three gifts would you pick? And what ways have you adapted your holiday celebrations to promote good messages in your family?
For a fun interactive activity that the whole family can play together, take my Christmas Classics challenge!