I'm supposed to be writing. Or at least, that was my intention when I got this time away while my mom is with the girls. Yet, here I am, almost two hours later and I am just starting. The problem with having internet connection anywhere is that it's easy to get distracted. Email, Facebook, Huffington Post, Christmas gift ideas... you get the idea.
There's Christmas music playing, which I suppose with Thanksgiving only next week, isn't too premature anymore. In fact, I just learned there are people who do all their shopping in November so that December can be devoted to fun and family. I have to admit, I pretty much love this idea. Getting all the shopping and shopping-related stress out of the way so that December can be the picturesque winter memory making I always envision? Yes please.
As it comes time to think about ideas for Christmas gifts (specifically for our kids) I find myself struggling every year. I desperately want to make sure my kids feel the magic and wonder and excitement of getting presents, because, well, they're kids, but I also am equally desperate for moderation and minimizing the things they are getting and what is coming into our house. I know that they can feel magic and wonder and excitement without having piles of things. Of course, it's not that I don't want them to get anything, but I don't want them to get everything. There is more to Christmas, much more, than getting new toys.
Every year it's a struggle to find balance between showing our kids what's really important during the holiday season, and making sure they feel like they were on Santa's Nice List.
I know of people who do four gifts: Something you want, something you need, something to wear, something to read. I also know people who only do three gifts because Jesus got three gifts (from the wise men). I love both these ideas, I'm just having a hard time figuring out what works best for our family and how to put it into practice.
And then, of course, I want to make sure each of the girls gets a gift for both sisters. Which is important to me because I want to emphasize giving to others, but adds several more "things" each child is getting.
And then I feel guilty that all this is stressing me out because this is not what Christmas is about! I shouldn't be spending time anxious about gift-giving stuff, I should spend it thinking up activities and memories to make and share with my family.
Which is why I just might adopt the idea of getting all my gift-buying done before December.
How about you? How do you decide Christmas gifts? And do you wait until December until you start? Or all you already done by Thanksgiving?