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Yesterday I sat and spoke with my kids about our plans for Christmas.  I have had this discussion before, each year for the past three years, but no one ever really pays attention.  I don’t want Christmas to be about gifts.  Truth be told, I want a gift.  I can’t help it, old habits die hard and I don’t think it is terrible to give a gift at Christmas but, I just don’t want it to be completely about gifts.

I want us to make family memories.  I want to take family trips, go hiking together, spend the day playing board games, going to the movies or anything else that is just us…together…enjoying family.

So, I sat with The Man and The Girl-in-the-Middle to talk about the guidelines for Christmas.

The Man:  I’m not getting any gifts this year.

The Girl-in-the-Middle: Yeah. Um. I don’t know if I will either.

It would seem that I would be okay with this yet, I wasn’t.  The two of them are something else.  They weren’t accepting my newly defined version of Christmas, they are just both broke.

The Man:  I don’t have any money so I am not getting anybody anything and I don’t expect anything.  (He said that last year and then was unhappy with what he got.)

This is the completely wrong attitude to have.  I want them to embrace the holiday without the concern for gifts but, I don’t want their only reason for not giving a gift to be that they didn’t have any money.  That would lead to a void and a bit of disappointment.  They won’t enjoy the holiday equally if they are left to feel like they didn’t do something they should have done.

So, I had to make a bit of a revision.  This year we are giving gifts to each other.  The gift has to be well thought out, something that the other would appreciate or can use but it doesn’t have to be something that requires money.

The Man: Okay great.  But, next year I am going all out because I plan on having some money.

He still doesn’t get it but, old habits die hard, right?