Originally Posted by philomom
This is reason number five or so on the list of why my family doesn't do xmas.
You can however, celebrate simply. There are great books out there like Unplugging the Xmas Machine and even the Tightwad Gazette books that talk about giving your children time and meaningful experiences.. rather than stuff.
If you are religious you can do the three gifts thing
. Baby Jesus got three gifts from the wise men so your child can get just three gifts from santa.Or, what my parents did was the old poem..
something you want
something you need
something to wear
something to read
My family that I created with hubby.. we do the winter solstice. Small potted tree. No gifts. A huge "soup and solstice" party for the neighborhood. Sometimes a bonfire. Easy stuff.
I really love these ideas. What I remember and love about Christmas is the time spent with family and looking forward to Christmas traditions. That is what I would like to focus on for my DS.\\
Originally Posted by Ramzubo
We do the three gifts and really like how nice Christmas is now. We don't do Santa, we only exchange presents between Dh, Ds, and myself, and anything in a stocking has too be edible. We specifically do not do large presents for holidays because I feel like that gets harder and harder as kids age (just like you mentioned classmates getting large presents) and feeds the consumptionist attitude. Christmas for us is focused on being a calm, peaceful time. Both Dh and I came from excessive present families, but you are exactly right when you said that the "high" from gifts fades quickly. When we thought back on the holidays growing up we rarely remembered specific gifts, but we did remember special foods, making cookies, volunteering, getting a tree... So we decided to focus on those memories and since doing that I've felt no need to join the consumerism craziness.
My mom shows affection by buying people things, so I also grew up in an excessive present family. She still spoils my sister, my DH and I at Christmas. I'm 31 for goodness sakes! My sister and I instituted a name draw for our family last year, which has helped (we each buy one gift for one other family member) but my mom still insisted on buying us a gift each. I don't want her to feel unable to express her affection in the way that is meaningful to her but it is not how I feel or express love.
Now, where I also feel a challenge is with my extended family. BILs, SILs, nieces, nephews. For the grown-ups we draw names and each person buys one gift for one other family member. But the kids get a gift from each aunt and uncle and from the grandparents and to me, this is excesive. My BIL and SIL also expect us to buy their children an additional gift because we are their Godparents and buy us an additional gift as well (so over the top and silly). I've been making gifts by hand for my nieces and nephews because to me this is more special and the time spent is how I show I care, but I think that BIL and SIL just think I'm cheap. We are just very different people who have chosen very different lifestyles and have different values for our kids. These differences seem to be most evident at holidays, birthdays, etc.
Anyway, I will be following this thread with interest.