A Simple and Meaningful Christmas Gift Plan for Families

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If you love gift-giving (and gift-receiving) as much as I do, I’m sure you have already stashed away a few items for your loved ones, or perhaps you are preparing lists and beginning to scope out sales. If you haven’t yet thought about Christmas gifts, no worries. I hope this idea helps you plan and strategize to make gifts a stress free part of your holiday season.

This is my personal Christmas gift plan—the one I’ve used since my oldest was first born—in order to establish from the very beginning that while gifts are one way we share Christ’s love on His birthday, it is not the main purpose of Christmas and needs to be kept in check each year.

I can easily get carried away, spending way too much money and buying things my kids don’t really need because I absolutely LOVE to give gifts. It’s one of the love languages that I not only love to receive but love to express to others. Knowing my weakness for a happy surprise, all wrapped up and ready to be revealed, my husband and I determined years ago to follow a simple gift-giving plan with each other and our children as a way to keep Christmas under control and purposefully point our family to Christ with our gift-giving.

On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped Him. Then they opened their treasures and presented Him with gifts of gold and of frankincense and of myrrh. Matthew 2:11 (NIV)

Three gifts.

It was enough for the Son of God and it’s more than enough for us.

Each year we choose three gifts for our kids.

Gold – something big they’ve been wanting.

Frankincense – something for their body.

Myrrh – something for their personal or spiritual development.

And besides a few, fun stocking stuffers, this is what they receive every.single.year. Many years (depending on our finances that year) we keep the budget for these items at or under $100. We have learned that extravagance is not about quantity . . . it’s about the heart and pointing our children to the greatest Gift of all. Giving them gifts that go along with those given to Baby Jesus by the wise men, opens up our conversation about the story of Christmas in a tangible way their eyes can see and young hearts can understand.

Prayerfully consider adopting this or a similar gift-giving strategy and see the meaning of the season come together for your family. By keeping this often stressful and wallet-draining part of Christmas simple and strategic, we can allow space for Christ to come and fill our open hands with his extravagant, never-ending gifts of love, joy, hope, and peace . . . gifts we never have to wait in long lines for and never, ever have to return.

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