Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Repost: Because You Need It

Topic: Christmas 

Subtopic: How Not to Be A Stupid Maniac about Gifts (and I don't use Stupid very often)

I love presents. I love to get them and give them and look for them and wrap them and watch people open them and open them myself! The WHOLE PACKAGE (hee,hee, ok...not really funny) of gifts is right up there with my top 10 favorite things to do in life.

Did I mention I like a LOT of presents. Tons. It doesn't matter how big or how much they cost, but I love the idea that someone thought of me many times when picking out many presents. Because that's why I give multiple presents for a person because I saw something and thought of them.

Anyway, this present issue can quickly become a present problem. Because we attend 5 Christmas celebrations each year, and I have 4 children and 1 husband.

For a while, I just went overboard finding lots of fun stuff that everybody would love and then stayed up way too late trying to locate all my hiding places so I could stay up even later doing the wrapping.

And then somewhere during the Christmas season last year I found this concept. 4 presents for each person.
Something You Want
Something You Need
Something to Wear and
Something to Read
AhhhhhhHaaaaa. Bliss in present land. And it even Rhymes!!!

So here's how it works. 4 presents for each person. That's still multiple gifts, it's still many thoughts about the person, but puts the whole "gimmee, gimmee, gimmee" part of Christmas morning in it's rightful place: Nowhere.

We did have to start prepping our kids along about Halloween that we're doing this 'cool new thing' for presents. Then we'd quote the little rhyme and explain what it meant. And you know what? Our kids started doing it right back to us. "What kind of book do you want, Mommy?" and "Since you don't need anything, can I have your Need present?"

Now, because the Something you Want gift is obviously going to be the highlight of Christmas morning, we open the gifts in reverse order. Read.Wear.Need.Want. Keeps everybody happy with anticipation.

If you were a mouse in the house last Christmas at the Robinson's, here's what you would have seen.

First, everyone opened their Something to Read.

Then came Something to Wear.

My boys don't get very excited about clothes, but when you put light-up shoes under the jeans and sweaters, they think Something to Wear becomes a pretty decent gift!

Then Something You Need. Here's where we're not talking about the basic human needs: food,clothing, shelter.

But I think every boy needs a baseball glove. So the twins each got ball gloves for Christmas. If you're wondering why that one already looks broken in, it's because it was! I got it at the thrift store for $1.99. Every boy does not need a $29.99 baseball glove when he's 5 years old and is going to leave it out in the rain 18 times in the first year.

And finally, the Something You Want.

Talk about anticipation, this is what my dear daughter did upon pulling the box top off of this Samantha doll on Christmas morning:

She folded her hands, and stared at it with joy. For like 2 minutes! Enthusiasm was bursting from her, but she wanted to enjoy every little ounce of that gift and soaked in the moment.

Oh, the things we can learn from the little people in our lives.

So, friends, don't be stupid. Don't go in debt this Christmas. Try to pry your mind away from the notion that you're out to impress, spoil, dote upon, buy love or fulfill dreams for Christmas or otherwise propagate the Christmas Gift Marketing Machine. If your kids know you love them every other day of the year, they will know you love them Christmas Day.

But, like I said, I did start mentioning the "You'll get 4 presents for Christmas" w-a-y in advance, because I had previously done all the no-no's in the aforementioned paragraph.

Want. Need. Wear. Read.

It rhymes. It works. Really.


Cozby said...

Simply brilliant!

Malissa $ said...

I'm sure I'm a terrible mother cuz we do Santa at our house. But, Santa is St. Nick after all so he brings gifts to the kids. They receive 3 gifts from St. Nick because that's how many gifts Jesus received from the wise men. Then they get a few from mom & dad because we enjoy presents also :)

Erin Shumaker said...

Jody, I like your style!! Actually, the Kidwells are not going to BUY presents for to exchange (we're still small enough of a clan that we can't rival the Rodeffers!!). Instead, this year, we are going to have fun and do a white elepahnt with THINGS FROM OUR HOMES. No buying!! So, with two households in the moving season, it should be fun to see what silly/practical/heirloom-type "treasures" are exchanged. And, just like with little kids, I brought this up BEFORE Scenic Drive and gify buying season that my sisters are so good at. :-)

Ginger said...

I like the Thanksgiving sculpture! So, who has the tradition of losing an eyeball at the table?