How Much is too Much to Spend for your Kid’s Christmas?

Simple Christmas Trip

How did Christmas get so out of hand?  How do I keep Christmas Simple?

In many ways, being able to ask a question such as this is a luxury that many families don’t know.  It’s a shame to think of so many kids out there, who don’t receive a single gift during the Holidays.  I want to believe that is not true, but it is.

When we come around to January and do our annual postmortem on Christmas, we usually find out that we overspent on our kids for Christmas.  We start every season with good intentions only to see it spiral out of control.  It’s slow and stealthy, but we always seem to ask ourselves,

“Why didn’t we stop sooner?”

I would love to think that our family could adopt the practice of giving 3 gifts, which has its roots in biblical ideas, but in our house, I think that idea would go over like a lead balloon.  I don’t know if my wife and I would make it to the new year. I’m pretty sure our house mysteriously burn down around us one night and we would happen to be the only victims.

Several of our friends have tried to break from the past, with the hope of trying to bring Christmas back to the true meaning and just to keep it simple.  I love the simplicity angle, and that is undoubtedly the popular thing these days.

Over the years we have grown to believe by way of experience that one of the best ways to raise our kids is through experiences.  I know that I would rather take a family trip with all of my kids than, just watch bags of Christmas gifts tossed out to the garbage each year.

Planning a trip and taking a trip with your kids, can be a fantastic gift for the holidays.

Just a couple of years ago we left on Christmas day and took our children to the Florida Keys.  It was hard getting out the door, but it was worth every minute and dollar.  My kids remember that Christmas more than just about any other one over the last 5 years.

It would be easy to say it has to do with taking a trip, but in their minds, they have lumped together all the memories from that trip into one mental file that is associated with that Christmas.  I think about it the same way as well.  I can’t remember a thing I got that year, but I absolutely remember that trip and those memories with my kids.

I started by asking, How much do you spend on your Kids?  But the better question is:

“How do I give them a Christmas they will remember without breaking the bank?”

It’s a noble idea and I wrestle with that goal every year.  But this year, I know that what I should focus on is to keep it simple and give them a special memory.

I can’t wait to find out.

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