Crocodile tears stream down chunky (otherwise cute) cheeks. Blood curdling screams just shy of eardrum-bursting decibels ring out. Clenched fists beating incessantly on the hardwood floor.
It’s not exactly the picturesque image of Christmas morning you always imagined you’d have with your angelic offspring. And then, you hear the words that make every parent want to shrivel up and hide under the bed in the fetal position.
“Is that ALL?”
And you know what brought on these utterly dramatic emotions? You did. You know you gave them too much. You bought and meticulously wrapped too many packages. You thought you were doing a good thing by giving them what you never had, what you always wanted, etc. But, in the end, they really only wanted some uninterrupted time to play with the very first toy they opened. Or heck, just the cardboard box (or bubble wrap!) the toy came in.
You went overboard, and it’s ok.
Moms and Dads of the world, it’s time we unite.
I promise you it’s not too late. You may feel like you’ve already crossed over to the dark side. You might have given your children every little thing their tiny hearts desired last Christmas, but I’m here for you. There is a plan for us. And I have a serious backup.
It’s called: The Four Gift Rule. Have you heard of this? You give each child only four items at Christmas.
- Something they want
- Something they need
- Something to wear
- Something to read
It’s all over Pinterest, but I have a special twist for you (just hang on). Most of the people who adopt this gift-giving rule do so in an effort to be kinder to their own wallets and to avoid cluttering up their houses with a million tiny (or gigantic) plastic thingies that will inevitably not be touched or played with come February 1st.
But my husband and I have a more intentional, deliberate, and hopefully life-changing reason for adopting this particular rule in our house this year…
Over and above saving money and reducing clutter, we want our girls to understand at their very core that Christmas is a time of celebrating the birth of our Savior. It’s not about them. Or us. It’s about Jesus. And we give gifts at Christmas to those we love in celebration of Jesus’ birthday. Sometimes I think even we, as adults, can forget this incredibly important fact.
As I’ve been thinking about what we’ll give to each of our girls this year on Christmas morning, it’s been really impactful already to put everything through the filter of these four categories. This way of thinking provides us with limits and creates a more meaningful and deliberate way to give gifts in celebration of Jesus.
Where you’ll find gift tags online in various designs, I’ve been unable to find tags that incorporate Scripture. We wanted to create a tradition for our kids that would create a reminder that God provides for us and always will. Our God is unwavering and loves us dearly.
So our gift to you and your family this year is the encouragement to adopt The Four Gift Rule in your own home. I hope you’ll print out these gift tags, and even laminate them to use over and over with your kids each year.
May God bless you and your kids with a joyful Christmas with Christ at the very center of all you do.
Gift #1: SOMETHING THEY WANT
Bible Verse: Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
Gift #2: SOMETHING THEY NEED
Bible Verse: And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
Gift #3: SOMETHING TO WEAR
Bible Verse: Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
Gift #4: SOMETHING TO READ
Bible Verse: Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.