I am so thankful with our decision this year. Everything is homemade and the children are doing most of it. They have only asked for 3 (very little) things. We decided as a new tradition this year to only give three gifts (homemade, recycled, or purchased). Jesus was given 3 gifts, so that is what we are implementing. It was perfect because the children asked for the three things long before I decided we were only giving three gifts.
We are focusing on GIVING this year. I grew up with a huge Christmas every year and for a long time I felt I had to give my children everything they had ever wanted and then some. Of course, January would come and I would be freaking out about all the bills due. Last year I funded our entire Christmas by selling all of our old things on Ebay. I made a small fortune in November and used that earned $$$ for that Christmas. It was a form of recycling but I still felt like too much focus was on the gifts. This year is completely different. We are all very excited and I have come to realise that the children would rather bake cookies, paint, have a movie night - all with their parents. That is what makes this time of year so special, spending our time with our little ones, who (unfortunately) won't be this little for long. I am milking it for all it's worth. I want to leave wonderful memories and traditions for my children to pass on. I don't want them to feel the need to buy their children everything under the sun. Each day we talk more about the story of Christmas and in doing so, I am so blessed by seeing them think about it and ask questions. I know they are "getting" it! And that makes for a very happy Mama!
God Bless you all in your Christmas plans, and please, remember the true meaning of Christmas! You will be much happier and blessed if you do so! :-)