Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Day 3 of 5 Days of Preparing for the Holidays Blog Hop

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     Today is day 3 of the Preparing for the Holidays Blog Hop from The Schoolhouse Review Crew... Today we talk about Gift Giving.

     As our boys get older their gifts they would like become more and more expensive, especially in today's technology age. We used to put an emphasis on quantity not quality of the gifts when they were younger. A few years ago when money got to tighter due to my husband's job changing we decided to cut back on the amount of gifts we bought and buy only a few key gifts. I carefully planned a scavenger hunt beginning with a family gift of some games wrapped up and carefully placed under the tree. Inside was a clue as to where to look next.

    When the kids got up in the morning they were to say the least a bit confused where are all the presents? I told them to unwrap the gift that was under the tree, they all quickly read the clue and jumped to their feet and were off. The first gift for each of them were placed in the same location, but each wrapped independently I had strategically planned that each gift would grow in value starting with a small gift of under a $10 value. As they unwrapped their gifts there was a clue inside each package that had to be put with their brother's to solve the puzzle to get to their next location. I was impressed as they worked together as a team and they truly took time to enjoy the gift they were unwrapping to get to the next one. I also enjoyed getting to experience their reactions to each gift instead of all the usual chaos of wrapping paper flying through the air.

     When they had finally reached their final gift it was fun to watch the surprise that they had actually got one of their top gifts on their list. I got to actually capture the expression on their faces as they opened their final prize up. After was all said and done all of my boys much to my surprise said that this was their best Christmas ever! We had cut the amount of gifts by over 2/3 and they were happier with their gifts than they had ever been. Every year since we have done the same and even buy less gifts now and they have grown to truly appreciate what they have been given and have begun to ask for less. I am proud to say we have turned the focus on the true meaning of Christmas and are much happier and content.

    For the rest of our family like my parents and  Grandma we buy each person 2 small gifts, and put the focus more on the kids. We try to buy each person one thing they need and want thing they want or would like. For others on our gift giving list we have been turning to more homemade gifts, Pinterest is once again my go to site for gift giving ideas this year. I have been busy making sugar scrub for the ladies on my list, with a hand stamped tag and a decorated lid to the jar. I have not settled on a gift for the men on my list, but I am sure I will get the idea from Pinterest What did we all do before Pinterest?

    Also everyone on our gift giving list gets a tin full of homemade cookies that the kids and I bake each year.  People start asking me in October if we are going to be baking Christmas Cookies. We have been busy checking on some fresh recipes from of course Pinterest for our cookies this year. We have found some good contenders that sounds delightfully tasty. We will definitely be sampling all of our selections before we give them out for gifts. We have to make sure they are edible, right?

Oh My gosh they look so little in these photos, where has the time gone, this was from Christmas 2008 the first year we did the Scavenger Hunt.

       What do you do for gift giving? Do you make gifts with your children to give to others?


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2 thoughts shared:

Brandy Brockhausen said...

I agree, as kids get older the stuff they want gets more and more expensive!! Your scavenger hunt sounds like a lot of fun though, what a great idea!

Kym Thorpe said...

I absolutely love the scavenger hunt idea, especially that they had to cooperate to find all the clues and gifts! Brilliant!