In plenty…

Christmas shopping has been difficult for me this year.

My kids don’t need anything, certainly not anything on their Christmas list.

We have clothes, food, a warm and comfy home.

We have extra’s like video game stations, cell phones, iPods and more.

Usually by this time of year I am done my Christmas shopping {weeks ago in fact} and everything is wrapped and under the tree.

courtesy of

Right now, this year, there is nothing under our tree.  I haven’t wrapped a thing, I didn’t even buy anything until last week. And I didn’t enjoy the purchase, the thrill of the good bargain chase like I usually do.

I wanted to scrap the whole gift giving thing all together.  Take our Christmas budget and donate it all.  The hubby and I have discussed Christmas up one side and down the other this year.

I reminded him of this commitment at the beginning of the year.  He reminded me of all the ways our kids have grown in that area this year and that Rome wasn’t built in a day.

We did compromise and cut our gift budget to a third so we can donate the rest to those in true need.

We are starting new traditions and rekindling old traditions.

Yet I can’t shake this feeling that I have not done enough to extinguish the plague of materialism in our home.

Must need to spend some time with my Father, the only One that can truly grant me Christmas peace.

What have you done to combat materialism in your kids this holiday season?


  1. Yes! I feel this same way! This year we’ve cut our budget in half, and my husband and I both just sold our iPhones. I’ve felt so materialistic and selfish about life lately, and I just want to focus on the eternal and not the temporal. Great ideas here, Melissa! Thanks for sharing this. 🙂

  2. thank you for chiming in, Melissa. So comforting to know I am not the only

  3. I struggle with this, too. Giving gifts is my major expressive love language. I know I cannot totally give up gift giving. I found a principle in the Bible that is helping me muddle through:

    Wise men brought 3 gifts to Christ. Frankincense: for spiritual growth; Myrrh: practical; Gold: fulfills wants. This is our new way!

    Our kids get “frankicense” – a Bible related item (they are all getting new, age appropriate Bibles from us this year; “myrrh” – the new clothing they need (usually pj’s at Christmas, I don’t know why!); and “gold”: one extravagant “want”. They also exchange gifts with each other. I would have to argue that giving gifts to each other is HELPING them develop a giving spirit, not encouraging materialism. Our gift opening is very slow – we physically HAND the gift to the other person, sit with them while they open it, and share their joy and tell them why we picked it for them after it’s open.

    But I definitely hear you! I used to do short term missions throughout the year, which helped my soul angst on this issue. As a mom now – that is not happening. My absolute favorite way to “give” is to bless the socks off the homeless drunk guy on the street corner begging – $50 and a hot meal!

  4. Melissa, you are definitely not alone in this! I’ve never been comfortable with all the focus on presents and “stuff” at Christmas and my big girls have come to feel the same way. They’ve both told me that “it’s nice to get something, but we already have everything we need, so why not help someone else instead?”

    Now if only I could get my in-laws to understand. sighhhh….

  5. agreed, getting extended family to understand is something i haven’t even
    begun to tackle yet.

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