A sock monkey & my new gift-giving philosphy...

My friend, Betsy, and I decided to make sock monkeys for our boys for Christmas. These were a pretty fun project and I'm proud of us for finishing them in 2 sittings! We bought kits at Michael's and Beverly's for only $10 and they included everything we needed (minus the stuffing), which was great. I'd like to make Henry's some clothes at some point, but for now, I think the monkey is just fine as is.

This will be one of Henry's 3 gifts from us this Christmas. I've been thinking long and hard about how we should do gifts at Christmastime. I definitely want my family to give and receive gifts, but I don't want our kids to expect excessive amounts of stuff. Since I enjoy structure, I've been trying to find a somewhat loose structure for our gift-giving, and I think I've found it! And don't worry, John likes the idea too :)

Our pastor often talks about gift-giving with the idea that we can give gifts of our time, talents, and treasures (He uses this model year-round...not just at Christmastime). This has always really resonated with me for some reason, so I thought it might provide a nice structure for our family gift-giving.

So for example, this year Henry will get 3 gifts, with each gift falling into one of the 3 categories:
  • time- John is going to assemble a tricycle that I received as a baby shower gift from my Grandma Net while pregnant with Henry. We aren't spending any money on this gift, but John will be giving of his (very precious) free time during the busy month of December to prepare this gift for Henry.
  • talents- I made Henry the sock monkey using my sewing talent.
  • Treasures- Henry will be receiving 2 books from us that John and I picked out together. We used our treasures (money) to purchase these gifts.
We'll see if this is something we stick with for years to come, but I think we should definitely give it our best shot. I think it honors both gift giver and receiver and helps deepen our relationships. I think it will also give our kids a sense of what is to come, and help them prepare themselves for the gifts they will receive at Christmas. We'll see how it goes.

Other ideas I have for these 3 categories:
  • time- Individual outings for each individual child with one or both parents, either selected by the parent or planned by the child, or a family trip or vacation.
  • talents- I have endless ideas for this category. Quilts, videos made my John, photo books, the list can go on and on.
  • treasures- Here is the category where we can purchase gifts that our kids ask for.
So anyways, that's my gift-giving vision for the moment. I thought I'd write it down so I would remember it next year :)


Toni said...

Way to incorporate Time, Talents, and Treasures. Your next challenge is Win, Build, Equip :)
I really like what Pastor Pat shared on Sunday as well. And interesting perspective to this whole gift-giving business.

Anonymous said...

I love it! My aunt does something similar, modeling what the Wise Men gave Jesus...something that goes with their talent (ie, they have a scientific bent), something practical, and so mething that's more of a splurge/special... somehow that lines up with Frankincense, Gold and Myrrh. :) Anyways, I really like that and think I might want to do somehting like that too!! I vaguely remember that Pastor Steve and Janice had a manger in their room with the Christmas tree, and I think there was some thing like they would put hte gifts in the manger instead of under the tree. I like that idea also.
Good for you!! I like your thought process.

JHRME said...