Thursday, November 5, 2009


I am sure that I am going to receive tons of flack from this and lots of those “looks”. You know the ones I am talking about, those looks where someone hears the words coming out of your mouth but they aren’t making any sense at all. I, myself, have probably given that look a few times in the past and I would be lying if I were to say that I won’t do it again.

Let me start from the beginning. I LOVE Christmas! Yes capital LOVE! It is my all time favorite holiday and from now until that big day is one of my favorite times of the year. This would be made perfect if I lived somewhere that it wasn’t freezing….. I love the smells, and the trees, and all of the get togethers and of course the food. I love the lights and the music and the excuse to sit on the couch all together watching fabulous movies.

And for years I have loved the presents. Really who doesn’t love presents. I have gladly bought into the hype and foraged out buying my kids and family everything that wasn’t nailed down. Then I got smart (I thought) and discovered BLACK FRIDAY! Now I could get everything and anything at a fraction of the price! YES!

Catalogs come flying into the house happily perused by my masses. Items are circled and crossed out and then circled again. Cries of mommy come look at this can be heard through the house when a super cool item flashes a commercial across the screen. And on Christmas morning everyone wakes up to mounds of presents and after 20 minutes you can barely see the children under the mounds of wrapping paper that daddy has labored for weeks to tape on (that’s right mommy doesn’t wrap, it’s not pretty). We are happy and content and bloated on stuff.

This is the year that stops. Yes, I plan to love, enjoy and surround myself with cheer this holiday season, to drink hot choc. (or a Pumpkin Spice Latte) with whipped crème every night for the next month and a half. But the buying spree has ended. The catalogs are thrown out as soon as they arrive. On Demand children shows are in (none of those dreaded commercials). And Black Friday, ok well I will still probably go.

This year my kids are getting 3 presents each, and a donation in their name to an organization of their choice. We have enough, we, at times, have too much. But we don’t give back enough. Each one of my kids will get:

1. Something they REALLY want (this might be more than one thing if it is something that GOES together.)

2. Something that is personalized

3. Something that signifies Africa

We will be doing stockings as usual and still believe that we can have a MAGICAL Christmas. One that helps us to remember what Christmas is really all about and not just about presents.

I know you are out there feeling sorry for my poor kids, feeling bad about how mean their mommy and daddy are and that’s ok. I doesn’t change it but it’s ok. We have talked to the kids and they are on board. The little ones know that Santa is bringing one present and mom and dad are also. Everyone is happy. I am not naïve enough to think that there won’t be some hurt feelings when they talk to their friends and family members and learn how MUCH others got. But I hope I am helping to teach my kids not to determine their worth on how many presents they receive. And I am hoping the donations that they make help them to feel pleased with themselves.

And there you have it, wow, I can feel the “look” already.

‘til next time



  1. I think that is a great idea. Holidays are way too commercialized. I only get our kids 1 or 2 things because they get so much from the grandparents. It's crazy.

  2. You meany...just kidding, I think it's awesome :)

  3. We don't allow presents from friends at birthdays and collet donations for a charity. Zoe and Solome's ombined birthday donations was enough to sponsor a girl in Ethiopia for 6 months. This Christmas too, we are downsizing. Our house just can't fit any more. It looks like Santa is bringing new bikes and thats it. Good for you for setting a great example.
    ~ Heather

  4. amen to that sister. you are not a meany, wish more people had that frame of mind.

  5. Our kids only get 3 presents - we figured it was good enough for Jesus! :)

    way to go you!