Today’s Celebrating Love post comes from Vanessa of Tapestry Chronicles. Her family has an awesome gift tradition that is both fun and frugal! You’ll never guess what it is!
Christmas lights flashing. Stockings hanging from the mantle. Gifts piled under a twinkling Christmas tree. Countless households around the world savor this sweet time of the year.
Unfortunately, buying the perfect gifts for everyone without breaking the budget becomes distracting and stressful. The stress then rains its woe on the beauty of the season,leading many to lose sight of the real reason for the season.
While my husband and I were dating, we had many deep discussions about what we wanted our future holidays to look like. We knew that it was going to be an adventure merging two families into one and juggling different traditions to make them our own. One goal that we have striven for is avoiding any unnecessary stress in gift giving. We wanted to accomplish this in such a way as to be good financial stewards while keeping the focus and emphasis on Christ’s birth.
In my search, I stumbled across a blog post describing what is called “The 3-gift Christmas”. It did not take much reading before I was sold on the concept. After sharing this idea with my husband, we were excited to adopt it as our family tradition, and have kept with it since our very first Christmas together.
So, what is this 3-gift Christmas? Well, it’s quite simple with a nice touch of significance. As the name clearly states, you give 3 gifts. No more, no less. But, not just any 3 gifts. The idea is to give 3 gifts that represent the 3 gifts given by the wise men to baby Jesus. Gold is meant to represent a gift of value. Frankincense represents something spiritual. Myrrh is something for the body.
Now, we don’t strictly adhere to the representations, but still aim to give 3 gifts of value and meaning. This tradition allows you to sit down and truly invest some serious thought into giving something of meaning and value to your spouse and kids. Also, implementing this idea alleviates a lot of stress scurrying around town or online, trying to come up with what and how much to give. It helps foster a mindset of quality over quantity. It also provides a sense of consistency and stability, letting you fully enjoy and appreciate the Christmas season without getting swept up in the sales,shopping, etc.
Here are a few other tips to make the gift giving experience a smooth one:
- Set a budget and stick with it!
- Ask your spouse or kids (if they’re old enough) to write down a wish list (maybe even set one up on Amazon)
- Instead of getting more “stuff” that is just going to break, ask for an experience (think museum memberships, amusement park passes, etc.).
- Some people are turned off by gift cards, but I love them! Don’t be afraid to ask for one, if that’s what you would prefer.
It’s really fun to see what someone ends up giving you! Honestly, that is one of my favorite parts of gift giving and receiving; seeking to give something that will encourage them and make them smile. An unexpected benefit of this Christmas tradition is how much closer together it has brought Micah and I. There isn’t any scrambling about, getting frustrated with spending too much money on gifts. We know that the gifts we exchange are given with intention and meaning. We get to savor more time with each other, sipping egg nog or hot chocolate, and watching a fun (and/or cheesy:)) Christmas movie. We are able to reflect on what it truly means to be children of the King of Kings and what that looks like for us and our family. I encourage everyone to consider implementing a simplified gift giving system or tradition that works for your family and helps eliminate any unnecessary stresses or burdens. That way, you can truly enjoy time with family and fully appreciate the Christmas season.
I love to write and read. My happy place would be enjoying a warm beverage while sitting in a cozy cabin surrounded by books (think Beauty and the Beast library) and watching the sunrise. I met my hubby when I was a senior in college and we became instant friends. We got married the Spring of 2013 finally ending our long distance relationship. I separated from the Air Force in 2014 to become a full time homemaker and we recently became a family of three after having our precious baby boy this summer! All in all, I crave a simple, practical, and meaningful life and I am so blessed to serve a God that encourages, strengthens, and sanctifies!
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