{why Christmas will be different this time around}

I’m not really sure what prompted this idea for me. But back a few months ago while I was sitting in my kiddos’ room trying to sort through a gargantuan mess to find my son’s missing shoe (again), I remember thinking, “Man, my kids have too much stuff”. And yet….it seems that they are never satisfied. They are always “bored” and can’t “find anything to do”. Sheesh!

It was at the point that I realized that something needed to change. And fast!

Around about that time, I came across this post written by one of my super all-time favorite bloggers, Ruth over at LivingWellSpendingLess. I sat mesmerized as I read about her courageous decision to rid her children of pretty much ALL of their toys. I was instantly intrigued…..but still a little too afraid to take the plunge. If I’m being honest, I’m still a little too afraid.

But what started within my tiny little head that afternoon was an idea that has since become a full-blown outright lifestyle change.

The bottom line is that we live in a world where our worth is determined by the amount of “stuff” that we can rightfully lay claim to.  I find this fact to be so incredibly sad.  And I for one don’t want to raise my littles to think with that mindset.  I want them to always remember Matthew 6:19-21.

19 “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. 21 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.

I believe that it is so important for us to imbed this truth within the hearts of our children while they are young.  And now that we are a homeschooling family, my littles are out in the world a lot less, which I have found helps with my cause.  My children are being exposed to a lot MORE Jesus and a lot LESS of the world these days.  I even find myself limiting what they are exposed to on television in the hopes that they won’t find themselves coming down with a case of the “I want”s .

So, this year we are doing something that we have never done in the past.  We are setting a strict limit on the number of items that our children are receiving for Christmas.  I actually came across this idea on Pinterest, and it resounded so loudly within me that I knew we had to do it.  In Christmas’ past, I’ve made an attempt at this, but always found myself coming across the “perfect” toy at a price that was just too good to pass up.  And my kids just had to have it!

But looking back, I can see now that it was Mommy that “had to have it” FOR her kids.  They would have been perfectly happy without it.  But I was trying so hard to give my kids the perfect Christmas that I kind of forgot what Christmas was really supposed to be about.

What we are striving to remember this year is that the perfect Christmas is one in which we are able to reflect on the gift provided to us by our Holy Father and praise Him for that gift.  We are taking time to remember that Jesus wasn’t always “Jesus the Man”……before any of that, he was “Jesus the Baby” being born on a silent night, in what was basically a barn, to parents who were young and inexperienced and scared……and who had NO idea what the future was going to bring.  And all the while, God looked down on HIS son and knew what the road ahead would bring.

Oh, how amazing is His grace.

How wonderful is His love and mercy.

And how hard must it have been to send HIS Jesus to earth.

This year will not be about the gifts, or the lights, or the food, or even about time spent with family.

This year will be about Jesus. 

My kids have already been warned that things are going to look a little different around our house this year.  And they’ve been told why.  And thusfar, they think it’s a great idea.  I pray that our family will be able to take this time to celebrate the REAL reason for Christmas.  And I pray that your families will, too.



  1. Good for you. It can be so challenging to set limits. I too always find that perfect toy and since we shop mostly thrift and consignment it’s easy to say, “but it’s a great deal!” But that doesn’t mean they need it. I’m glad you like the five gift rule. A few thoughtful gifts and remembering the true meaning of Christmas means so much more.

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