Saturday, December 6, 2008

Christmas Traditions- The Four Gifts

We are planning on putting up the tree today. Time to drag out the 47 boxes of who knows what and make the tree look pretty. I love Christmas. It's my favorite holiday. It's the one time of year, that I can kind of let go of all the stress in my life and enjoy the season and what it stands for.

Several years ago, we were really, really tight on money for Christmas gifts. To be blunt, there just wasn't any money and I was looking for ways to cut corners and still make the girls' Christmas special. It was during this time that I had conversations with friends that made me realize that Christmas wasn't really about the stuff. It was about being with family, setting traditions, and giving of ourselves that really mattered.

This is when I heard about The Four Gifts for the first time. It was intriguing and we decided to give it try. Since it's inception in this house, we have never looked back. My girls now know what to expect on Christmas morning and there is no disappointment involved. I hope that by doing this tradition, that my girls also learn that it's not about the stuff. Perhaps one day, they will carry this tradition into their own families.

Here is the run down of what The Four Gifts consist of:

The Gift of Warmth:
this is usually a new pair of jammies, preferably Christmas themed and/or some cool and funky toes socks, or maybe a new bathrobe, blanket or cozy throw....anything to keep you warm. This gift is opened on Christmas Eve.

The Gift of Knowledge:
this gift should be something one can learn from. An educational toy, book or DVD. Maybe something neat like a microscope, telescope, or a kid sized sewing machine....or it can be as simple as a book about Outer Space. Anything that gives them the gift of knowledge.

The Gift of Love: this gift is tricky as it has to be homemade. Something that YOU make and that comes from the heart. Whenever you put your heart, sweat and soul into something, it always means more. I have made throw pillows, doll clothes, fleece blankets, knitted get the long as it is homemade, it comes from love.

The Gift of Joy:
this is my favorite. This is usually something bigger and something that will bring the recipient JOY! I usually save this for last. This is the one big thing that is on their list. If you have a little money, then feel free to splurge here. Examples of years past for us were a Nintendo DS, Rose Petal Cottage, an electric scooter, a new bicycle, big huge 3 story Barbie playhouse etc. The sky is the limit where this gift is concerned. If your children are still small and still believe, then this can be left unwrapped and what comes from Santa. (wink, wink)

So I hope someone out there finds this inspirational and tries to instill this tradition in their homes this year. With the economy down in the pits the way it is, it's the perfect time to start downsizing the stuff. Try it, you just might like it. :)


pinkebody said...

I am going to adopt this tradition next year. The shopping is already done, or I would have started it this year :-)

We do have the basic principals in play already with mainly learning based & mama made gifts for the kids.

What a wonderful way to teach & remind your children what we are really celebrating.

Thanks for sharing your tradition & inspiring me to start a tradition of our own.