Being Real, Family, Marriage

Occasionally Submitting is HARD

I think the conversation has come up every year for the last couple of years. I’ve listened to Pastor JT give his argument, but he didn’t know I was secretly, and invisibly, putting my fingers in my ears while thinking to myself Na na na na na, I can’t hear you!

I love Christmas. I love everything about it. Trees. Lights. Food. Music. Carols. Corny church musicals. Late nights. Movies. Candy. Stockings. Fires. Shopping. Wrapping. Decorating my tree (the tree I decorate and don’t let my kids decorate because, well, they just won’t do it right).

Oh yeah, and family too. *snort* forgot about them.

The whole shabang is something I look forward to every year, starting in January. I start listening to what my short people might want. Not that I promise to get the all that they want, but I sure like making the tree all full with gifts!

  • Enter Pastor JT and his “wisdom.”

He’s been after me for a couple (or 5) years to consider cutting back on gifts for the girls. But, this year, he threw something new at me.

Get this, THREE gifts. Wanna know why? Do ya!? Because sweet baby Jesus only had three.

mmmhm, He did.

I haven’t argued with him and it hasn’t caused any fights, but it took A LOT for me to say, “Okay, we’ll do three.” And, I’m sure I said it a seriously whiny voice.

UGH! This is going to be so hard. I love wrapping presents! I love sneaking them in the house and hiding them somewhere. I love it when the girls know I’m in my room wrapping and they can’t come in. I buy specific matching paper every year with the right bows and stickers. I match my stuff with my tree for cryin’ out loud! And NOW, NOW! I’ll only be wrapping SIX!

Okay, add in three for Pastor JT and maybe I’ll throw in some Dollar Tree junk for Monkey. That give me uuuhhh,




Okay, twelve it will be.

But, (oh and I thought I had him here) HE would have to tell the girls!

Bwahahahahahahaha! We’ll see how well THAT goes, Bucko.

Not but two nights ago Christmas comes up. I’m sitting in the kitchen with the girls playing Sorry. Pastor JT is cleaning the kitchen (for that right there I should do this whole Christmas thing.)

Anyway, something comes up and he starts in on the whole “Christmas-is-going-to-be-different-this-year” speech.

Oh, I’m waiting for it. Inside I’m secretly hoping for a meltdown from our children. Yeah! That’ll show him. They can’t take it. He’ll have to CAAAAVE. Then I can go shopping!!! YEEE-HAW!!

Pastor JT gives the Three Gift Speech. Followed up with “We are doing this because we want to focus all our attention on Jesus and not stuff.”

Hmp! I like stuff. (I didn’t say it out loud becuase I was nodding my head in solemn agreement.)

And how do they respond?

“Okay Daddy! That’s cool. I’ll have this and this and this!”

What! That’s it! I threw a bigger fit than they did put together and they didn’t even flinch! So what does that tell you about ME!?

I guess I’ll just find fun and joy in picking out the three BIG gifts for each girl and I’m certain I’ll find myself thinking more on the Savior than the Stuff.

I am liking this idea more and more.

Blast! I just realized that means I only get three as well!

“Pastor JT…we need to talk.”

22 thoughts on “Occasionally Submitting is HARD

  1. LOL! I’ve always wanted to not buy gifts for anyone one year and donate that money to a shelter or a worthy cause, but my hubby thinks that’s horrible. ;o)

    Hope you’re having a wonderful week!

  2. We started this last year. It was hard sticking to the 3 gifts, but I did. It actually made Christmas a lot less chaotic. I’m not making any promises this year. ‘Cause I like presents. You could agree to a “trial run”. That’s fair enough. And, if Christmas bombs, you can blame JT.

  3. That’s a really interesting idea – we usually stick to a budget, instead, but I think I like this one better.

    A BIG question, though – do stocking stuffers count in the 3 gifts?? Say it ain’t so – picking out the stocking stuff is one of my FAVORITE things!

  4. Jeni, I didn’t think about the stockings. Maybe if it’s just candy and like new pencils or something then it won’t count!

    But, we don’t do Santa anyway so the stockings really are just a way to get candy in the house for me.

  5. We’ve been trying to move more toward “Christmas break trip” like skiing or something rather than a lot of gifts. And Nat, you KNOW I’ve been trying to bag the Christmas tree hassle for a long time. I’m not a scrooge, just don’t like the mess of cleaning it all up…

  6. We’ve been buying 3 gifts for Christmas since my daughter was born. We also only spend $100 on those 3 gifts. We don’t do Santa either but I do fill the stockings with fun little gifts that are not included in the 3 gifts, I only spend $20 on all the stockings. My husband and I say we are NOT going to buy for eachother but I always get him 1 gift. Life feels good when you can simplify! I LOVE everything about Christmas too!

  7. We too have done this since our oldest was born..(fourteen years ago)…it is special…but the decorating thing can get out of hand around here…and the 11th annual cookie party for 30plus is a little over the top…but lots of fun and really messy!


  8. Why don’t you just open a Xmas shop where people can drop off their gifts and you can wrap them with the matching paper and bows?

    Then your ‘need’ to sneak around while wrapping could be filled AND you’d be serving others…a VERY Christmas-like thing to do! πŸ˜‰

    Heck, I have September bday gifts you could wrap! Can you have them done by tomorrow at 6? πŸ˜‰

  9. We started doing this a couple of years ago, and it is really, really life-changing.

    Actually we give 4 gifts…and here’s our little jingly rule…
    Each child gets: “Something they want, something they need, something to play with, and something to read”.

    I can’t take credit for that though…borrowed it from a friend, whose mother and father did that when she was growing up.

    Anyway, I’m a gift-giver, so it’s hard for me to limit myself to those few things…but honestly the peace that comes with it is so worth it!!!

  10. For Princess’s first Christmas we had so many presents under the tree she got tired of opening them. Then I heard about the ‘three gifts’ thing and decided next year we would try it.

    That limit has been strangely liberating. I have stopped trying to remember every little thing she would want. Princess is trying to remember which 3 gifts she wants to ask Santa for (yes, we do the santa thing so she gets 4 presents – one from us). It is leaving more ‘good’ gifts that family can get her.

    Princess treasured every one of her gifts making it even more special.

  11. We have always done 3 or 4 gifts. It was the childrens first lesson in how we don’t keep up with the Jones’s.

    They usually get a “big” gift, ie bike, nba tickets, that kind of thing. Then the rest is just whatever. What we have always done with the grandparents is asked them to get the kids fun things for Christmas and Clothes for Birthdays. That has worked well.

    Also if it is the shopping you miss why not take the girls to an angel tree in the mall and let them pick out a child each.

    Hope and I do every year. She loves looking at the angels trying to find a girl her age.

  12. You and I are soul sisters on this Christmas thing. Sounds like Terry and JT are soul brothers. It drives Terry crazy. It really is the only time of year I get my kids “big stuff”. Terry is after me about this too.

    Still thinking…we still do the Santa thing. Still thinking…ugh. Submission is way hard when it comes to this.

  13. I could just copy and post this, minus the JT thing. I have been thinking about this a lot lately, but what about stocking stuff does that count in the 3? πŸ™‚

    You go girl, glad to hear the girls took it well.

  14. We started this 8 years ago…8 YEARS!! The kids get 3 each. One they need, one they want, one is a surprise…plus stockings.

    Extended family (adults) get a picture of our family in a frame from the $ store. Extended family (kids) get a letter from "santa" full of personal info & reindeer food to make it seem real.

    I spend around $35 for all extended family & it varies for my own kids.

    Oh, and hubs & I get to fill each others' stockings…that's it…no gifts.

    You get used to it & then wonder why you ever did more.

  15. I like the idea of 3 gifts, my husband would like it too, you made the idea seem fun! I think I would be thinking those same thoughts in my head. I love black friday shopping though.. guess I wouldn’t have to start at midnight now! Haha

  16. Not to throw a kink in your marital situations…but

    “Wise men (WebBible Encyclopedia) – ChristianAnswers.Net
    The record does not specifically say that there were three, … The same word is used in 1 Corinthians 1:26, “…not many wise men… are called.” …

    So, if there were an undetermined number of wise men, that concluded that there should be an indeterminate number of gifts.

    I rest my case.

  17. I’m doing some catching up on my blogs and I just read this…*gasp* ONLY 3 GIFTS? ok, I really like this idea though. I’m already past that this year, but we may have to try that next year. But stockings can’t count. πŸ™‚

  18. Three because baby Jesus receieved three has been the standard we use now, raising grandchildren. It has proven to be the best answer to keeping everyone focused on the real meaning of Christmas.
    They love it and so do we!

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