Avoiding the Over Commercialization of Christmas

I love Christmas, I really do.  I don't however love the over commercialization of it.  Christmas is about the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.  If you disagree with me, feel free to stop reading here.

Don't worry, I don't ruin Santa Claus for my children, I just don't make him the main reason for the season.  I still remember the first time my oldest daughter asked me why some people get anything they want for Christmas.  Here is our story:

Every mom and dad gets to make a contract with Santa before their first child's first Christmas.  Santa brings one special present and some stocking stuffers.  It's easy to tell what Santa brought because he wraps his gifts in paper with his picture or big presents are sometimes unwrapped.  Gifts from others usually have snowmen, candy canes, etc.  Santa brings gifts to children but puts something in everyone's stocking, no matter how young or old.

Christmas is Jesus' birthday and we give gifts to celebrate.  On his birth, Jesus received a gift from each of the three wise men.  To help us remember this, Mom and Dad give each child only 3 gifts to represent the gold, frankincense and myrrh. 
Gold = Garment (an item of clothing)
Frankincense = Fun (game, toy, music, etc)
Myrrh = Mind (something educational: book, puzzle, etc)
Mom and Dad sometimes also like to pick up a few extra things for the stockings.  Grandparents and other relatives are allowed to give my kids gifts, I just ask that they don't go too crazy as it is important to not become greedy.  I also really like the kids to think about what they want to give to others and why.

And finally, a tradition started by my Grandma Marj, the Santa Mouse leaves a gift on the end of each child's bed.  When you wake up in the morning, you can open this gift and play with it until Mom and Dad are ready for everyone to come down stairs.

IronFish thinks I have too many "rules" for Christmas, but I think it is important to have our family's guidelines so we don't get carried away with the commercialism that seems to start earlier and earlier every year.  What are your Christmas rules traditions?

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Rebecca said...

I agree completely. I like to enjoy the commercialized Christmas some, but that is not the reason for the season. I don't lead my daughter to believe Santa is real. Because he's not!!! lol. I think it is very misleading to a child and confusing.

Thanks for stopping by last week learningtolimit.com. I've been a little slow getting back because of the holiday. I'm following you now and can't wait to read more! :)

P.S. Let me know if you'd like to swap buttons.

Richella said...

What great traditions! You're right--YOU get to choose what happens at your house, so your limits on gift-giving are just right for your family! I like the way you've chose not just three gifts but three different kinds of gifts. And of course stockings are fun, so that's a fun tradition for kids of all ages, but you can certainly keep that tradition without being overly commercialized.

I've never heard of the Mouse tradition of placing a gift of the foot of the bead--wish I'd thought of that back when my boys were small!

Thanks so much for joining Home for the Holy Days!

Kelli @ RTSM said...

We do three gifts at Christmas for our boys too:) We don't have certain things that each of the gifts have to be, but I think that is awesome! We don't ruin Santa either, but we try to not make that the focus of Christmas...honestly we don't really talk about Santa all that much until Christmas Eve/Christmas morning. Stopping by from Imparting Grace!

Gina said...

I love your "explanation" to your children. Sounds like you really thought out everything well which is important. I love the three gifts too and what they represent. Great idea. My children are grown but I certainly wish we had done something like that. Thanks for sharing. :)

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