3 Rules to Resist the Gift-Giving Binge

christmas ornament

One of the common questions we get asked about living in an RV during the holidays is, “How will you manage Christmas in such a small space?”

“It’s easy,” I reply, “we continue using our 3 rules for gift- giving that we started when the kids were born”.

Once we had children it was tempting to splurge to the point of excess. This would’ve not only broken our budget, and been a bad example to our kids; it would’ve diminished the true spirit of the holiday. That year we created a system that still works for us today.

Our 3 simple rules to resisting the gift-giving binge:

  1. Follow the Wise men. The Wise men brought the baby Jesus 3 gifts, so we do the same. Each child gets 3 gifts from us parents, usually one bigger gift and two smaller items. Having this guideline helps us from splurging or impulse buys. In addition to our presents, our children will get gifts from each sibling, grandparent, and so on – which ends up providing plenty of holiday cheer on Christmas morning.
  2. Clear out the old to bring in the new. In preparation for the influx of new toys and clothes that come during Christmas, we’ve taught our kids to take inventory of what we currently have, and to get rid of what’s not necessary, or not being used. We carefully pack it up and take it to a women’s shelter or other charitable organization. The kids look forward to this activity almost as much as the new presents they receive.
  3. Focus on the legacy. In a day and age where consumerism is at an all time high, it’s much more convenient to buy a gift card, or a present based on what’s on sale during Black Friday. It takes time and effort to come up with something that holds sentimental value or is homemade. However, these are the gifts that create a lasting impression. I still remember the hand-sewn doll clothes my mom made for me and the locket my dad had engraved with my initials on it. Your kids will remember the heart-felt over the store-bought every time.

These three steps have kept our Christmases meaningful and manageable.

As the holidays are quickly approaching, I hope these ideas will help you create your own traditions and systems around the gift-giving season.  

Photo via Flickr: John-Morgan

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3 Rules to Resist the Gift-Giving Binge

Shannon is a mother of 3 teens, who hit 40 and decided that instead of a "mid-life crisis", she wanted an adventure of a lifetime. She convinced her wonderfully open-minded husband to pack up their house, sell most of their possessions, and travel the USA in an RV for a year or two. Besides homeschooling her kids, running their online program, Watts in the World, Shannon loves to explore new places. Nothing is more exciting than waking up in a new city everyday, and discovering what's great abou ... More

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