There are a couple of wants my kids want, but a lot of what we buy for Christmas

are needs like a new sweater, some boots, new gloves. Other things may involve a hobby or interest. One dd loves arts and crafts, so she got some new markers and a big roll of white newsprint to stamp and color away on to make homemade wrapping paper. One dd’s stereo speakers broke, so we replaced it as a present for Christmas.

I have actually found that our children are more satisfied getting a “present” from each member of the family (and santa) than the dollar amount of the gifts. So for example dd#1, she will get a present from dad, mom, sister, and brother. Each person gets to hand it to her, sit next to her, maybe help her open it, see her face when she opens it, gets to take a picture with her when she opens it, and gets a hug and a thank from her. They love it! Then we rotate and give all the other people presents.

The presents can be as small as a bottle of fingernail polish or as big as a pair of jeans or new toy. The amount doesn’t matter, but the giving and receiving of siblings does. It’s really fun!

It really ends up being low key for me. No pressure to buy the latest cabbage patch doll or tickle me elmo. They are always excited and thankful for all they receive.