I am wife to a magnificent man and mother to five wonderful children. Three of my children were born in the Northwest and two were born thousands of miles away in Liberia, West Africa. Birthplace is no matter, all of my children were born in my heart. This is our journey.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

T minus 7 weeks and 3 days

Can you believe that we are talking Christmas now? Crazy. It seems like just yesterday that we were getting our garden in. I'm not too worried yet. I already have Christmas gifts in the closet and the lists have begun.

We started a tradition when our kids were very young to keep things from getting out of hand. We give them each three gifts: a fun impractical item or toy, a fun educational item and a clothing item. We stretch the meaning of each category at times if a gift is just perfect for someone but doesn't fit. Overall it helps us keep from going crazy as well as keeping the gifts somewhat useful. The kids learn that gifts come in all shapes and sizes and so far they still get just as excited to get the clothing item as they do the toys.

We also started another tradition two years ago. One day in December we split up into girls and boys. I take the girls to one town and the boys go to another with dad. We treat them to a special dinner or lunch and afterwards the kids shop for each other and one parent. Last year was a blast taking them out. It was fun to see what they pick out and eating at a restaurant is a real treat. My girls were talking about this years event the other day. The older kids set up a small budget and have been earning money ahead of time so they can buy for each other. It is a bit of extra work for Steve and I but I think the benefits are worth it. I love listening to them make plans and learn how to be thoughtful when choosing a gift for someone else. The last few years they have gone from picking something for others that they would want for themselves to really thinking about what they receiver would want instead.

What about you. What are your traditions?

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