Last night hubby and I were talking about how to make Christmas more meaningful to our children. Last year they got so many presents they couldn't open them all in one day. They had presents the days leading up to and the days AFTER December 25. Throw in that ToddlerT's birthday is 1 week before Christmas and Son's birthday is 1 week AFTER and you have serious present overload. I feel like this makes the gifts less special because there simply is no time to appreciate the gifts before the next onslaught of gifts begins - we do a round presents w/my mother and brother, with hubby's Dad, with hubby's Aunt, with our little family and with my grandmother and extended family. Then there are the birthdays to deal with - we've tried having them at other points in the year but that isn't working out too well either.
We do sponser a child in Uganda and we are going to have discussions about the gifts that we are sending to him (through the Compassion organization) and to his family. We sent money specifically for the child then another gift for the family to buy things. We pick angels off the giving tree at ToddlerT's preschool. We plan to take the children to shop for those gifts and be more involved in that this year now that they are older.
My mother and grandmother give me cash to purchase gifts for the children. I am putting 50% of that cash into their college funds instead of toys. I would buy the children clothes if spring clothes were out - they have more than enough winter clothes.
What else can I do to
a. cut down on the amount of stuff coming into my house for the holidays?
b. make the gifts more special - present overload is seriously a problem with so many people that love our children.