It's time to start wrapping the presents.
I always enjoy sitting with Bret on the floor, the room lit by the Christmas tree, wrapping the kids presents.
Giggling and excited proclamations usually happen while we talk about how awesome it will be to see the kids faces on Christmas morning.
Some have asked how we do gifts in our house so I thought I would share."Brown paper packages tied up with strings" is always the theme I like to keep in mind.
I prefer the plain brown paper and usually buy a large roll and use it year round. I've also found in the past few years at the Dollar Store brown paper with beautiful prints on them.
I also get all the ribbon that I use from the Dollar store and use baker's twine in different colors as well.For the gifts we do four gifts per child. Each gift goes with the four categories: want, need, wear and read.
Having these categories really helps with the Christmas shopping and not spending money on things that they don't need or will be forgotten soon after the Christmas morning excitement has ended.
When it comes to how much we spend on each child we don't really set a limit per child. I do realize as they get older the things they might want or need will cost more but even then we won't worry about "being fair" with the spending amounts. If one kid needs three new dress and the other just need socks and underwear then that is what they get for their "need".
We really try and discourage the kids from counting how many present they have and comparing the amount or size to others (easier said then done). We've started putting the presents under the tree a lot closer to Christmas so that they aren't the focus.
The kids each get one unwrapped gift from Santa and things like chapstick, nail polish, mini flashlights, glow sticks, card games, candy and an orange in their stockings.
I stock up on little trinkets, bits and baubbles from the dollar store or the dollar section at Target (that section is awesome!) throughout the year and use a lot of that stash for stockings.
One gift is usually given to the whole family (for example the last 3 years have been Disneyland passes).
The kids do a homemade gift for each other which is my favorite part. It usually takes a few months of planning and deciding and gathering but seeing the kids make something for each other and the pure joy they get from giving is the best.
One last thing I wanted to share that we started doing when Ella was old enough to make a Christmas wish list was to make a Christmas service wish list first.
We have the kids list 2 ways they can serve each family member and 2 ways they can serve others who aren't in our family. We try and focus on that list first. We review the list on Monday each week (of December) and talk about how we felt serving.Now that I've shared what our house does I'm interested in what you do. I love hearing all the different ideas and traditions and get new ideas/traditions or revamp old ones.
Do you set a limit?
Special ways you wrap your gifts (different paper for each person)?
How do you do Santa gifts? or Do you even do Santa gifts?
How do you open gifts on Christmas morning? Each person takes a turn opening one at a time or just "have at it"?
What do you eat for breakfast on Christmas morning? Cereal? Candy from the stockings? Muffins? French toast?
Do you shop year round for Christmas gifts or wait until it gets closer to the holiday season?