Friday, January 9, 2009

The Christmas with "No" Presents

People have been asking me how the Christmas of no presents went.

It was GREAT!

But before I go any further I need to clarify a few things. There were presents. There just were not any presents from Brian and I, my parents, or my siblings and their families. And even that is misleading. The "present" that we all gave each other in my family was a ski vacation in Colorado. So there was a present...a very, very good present....just not a physical item to unwrap.

I also need to point out that while Brian and I did not get the kids, or each other, anything..."Santa" did. He got Kinley a kitchen (at a garage sale for $20).....

and he got each of the boys a Razor scooter.

But no, we did not unwrap any gifts on Christmas morning. As a matter of fact we didn't even have any presents sitting under the tree because I didn't wrap the few presents we bought for Brian's family until Christmas morning. And to tell you the truth I don't think any of us noticed.

Instead of unwrapping mountains of gifts and sifting through trash and unpackaging and assembling dozens of toys we just played. I made a big breakfast, the boys rode their scooters and Kinley "cooked" in her kitchen. It was so nice!

Now just so you don't think my kids were totally deprived...and so you'll realize why they don't need any presents from us....we did go ahead and take our annual individual pictures with the gifts.

Here is Kinley with everything she got. (And that innocent little pink circle on top of the couch is a 4 foot tall circular princess tent. Not to mention the fact that we forgot to put out the other baby doll and her diaper bag and stoller.)
And here is Cainan with his haul.
And last but not least here is Ryker with his Christmas bounty.
Keep in mind that this is only about half of what they would have gotten on a "normal" Christmas year. Usually they have to sit on the big couches instead of the love seats to fit all of their gifts in the picture.

And here is the pile of toys I made them remove from their toy room and give (or throw) away before the new toys could go in. 25 toys in all. I gave them a break and counted each set as one instead of counting each individual item. Too bad. I could have doubled the amount of give away toys if I had done that. Maybe next year.

Up until Christmas morning I still questioned if I was doing the right thing. I knew deep down I was but I still felt a little guilty about it. I was afraid the kids would be sad and bored after they came down and found their ONE present sitting on the hearth with the remains of the cookies and celery (for the reindeer, ya know). But they were totally unphased by the whole thing and Brian and I were completely relieved to have to do almost no shopping and best of building of new shelves to house all of the new toys.

The final reward for our decision and the justification for it all came on January 2nd. We were riding up a lift, looking out across the mountains as the snow fell around us and Ryker said,

"This is better than ANY present!"


We are already brainstorming ways we can do the same thing next year. I wouldn't change a thing....except.... I wouldn't use every egg in the house for the big Christmas breakfast...even the ones I needed for the cheesecake I had yet to make...thereby sending Brian on a mad dash throughout Bond county looking for eggs on Christmas morning again...but other than that I would totally do it ALL again!

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