Embracing the 3 Gift Tradition at Christmas

I love Christmas!! Then I had kids. It suddenly went from enjoying the season to being stressed out and maxed out. My husband and I overspent on gifts every year. We soon learned we focused on the wrong thing and changed our focus. Continue to read how I enjoy less stress, and more joy by Embracing the 3 Gift Tradition at Christmas.

Less Stress, More Joy: Embracing the 3 Gift Tradition at Christmas

How I Used to Shop

Growing up in a Christian home, sometimes, Christmas gets monotonous. Every year, we have the same traditions, the same stress, the same business everything. We do all this to celebrate something that we remember every week when we are at church.

I was tired of the shopping and the monotony. It felt like we celebrated Christmas because that’s what our culture did, not because we wanted to get closer to God. I really wanted to change things up, so I felt it would focus the season more on Christ instead of ourselves.

One way I shifted focus was by changing the way we got gifts for each other and for our kids.

Usually, we would set a budget and just go shopping. We would get as many presents as we could with the budget we agreed on.

Over the years, I just felt like I was buying gifts just for the sake of buying gifts. Our kids were always happy with what we got them, but I felt like they were not really all that meaningful.

Embracing the 3 Gift Tradition at Christmas

Changing it up

I wanted to change things up, but I had no clue what to do. So, I went where I usually go: online. I read about what other people did and why.

That’s when I came across only giving 3 gifts to kids.

When Jesus was a boy, kings came to visit Him. He received 3 gifts from them. Gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

Each item was to represent who He was and what he was going to go through as an adult.

To be more like Jesus, these people gave their children 3 gifts and started a 3 Gift Tradition.

A picture of children all dressed up in their Christmas best clothes, standing in front of a Christmas tree, each holding an unwrapped Christmas present. Under the picture are the words, enjoy less stress, and more joy by Embracing the 3 Gift Tradition at Christmas. www.onedeterminedlife.com

The 3 gift Tradition Christmas

To start this 3 gift tradition, it’s important to know what each gift is, and what they stand for.

  1. Gold: a treasure: something they want
  2. Frankincense: Frankincense was used for worship: something for their spirit
  3. Myrrh: was used to prepare a body for burial: something for their body.

When I read the idea, I had already bought over 3 presents, so I knew it was something I wanted to try the next year.

Setting parameters

Only buying 3 gifts for Christmas for each child sounded easy!! I could totally do that. But when I went shopping, I found that the perimeters I had set were very limiting!!

I could only get 1 thing my kids really wanted.

That was the hardest obstacle. The first year, I thought I was not getting my kids enough. I felt like buying  3 gifts made me cheap and lame. I had a hard time with the parameters I had set. 

No lies that first year was hard.

It was hard because suddenly I could not just walk into a store and buy whatever I wanted. I had to stop and think.

3 Things I considered

Before starting this 3 gift tradition, I wanted to make sure I knew what I was doing and why. To do so, I considered these 3 things:

1. What would they play with

My house is full of toys. Most times, those toys aren’t played with, they are just used to make a mess. I wanted to only keep toys my children played with regularly.

It is also important to me they enjoy the toys they have. Sometimes, the only way we can enjoy a toy is if there are no other toys to distract us.

2. What would truly make them happy?

My children are normal children, so when they receive a toy it always thrills them. At that moment, they could not be happier. But, over time, the toys they don’t really love get ignored and unused.

I don’t mind spending money on toys, but I wanted to take time to know my children and get them things they would truly love.

3. What items would feed their souls

As a parent, it’s easy for me to forget that my children’s soul needs nourishing. There are things that our children enjoy that truly speak to who they are and that encourage them to grow.

My eldest daughter loves to draw. Doing so helps her express her feelings and her talents. She likes to do art to calm down and to get away from the noise. Getting her art supplies is a way I can feed her love of art and a way I can help her relax and reduce her stress.

A picture of The Road To Christmas Family devotional pack. Next to the product mockup are the words, grow closer to God this advent. With this amazing bundle. Grab now. www.onedeterminedlife.com

What I learned

I had never really taken that much time in the past to think about my children. I would see something I think they would like and then I would get it.

But, limiting my options made me consider why I was getting, what I was getting, and ask how it was to be used. The entire process became a blessing to me.

We would only get our kids 3 gifts at Christmas. But, instead of just buying whatever each gift was more meaningful and precious— to us and to our children.

So now I look forward to this alternative way of buying gifts. We tell our children that we will only buy them 3 gifts. Any other gifts they get are from family. But since the gifts we have given them are so personal, they don’t seem to mind.

Every year, I think we should get our kids more. But every year, the voice comes back and says: why??

Christmas is not about gifts, it’s about Christ. Limiting our gift-giving has helped me keep the focus on Christ, but also on truly blessing my family during this time.

In the comments below, tell me if you follow this 3 gift tradition and what you like or don’t like about it.

Exit mobile version