We did our annual Christmas Shopping for our immediate family this last weekend. Kids buy presents for the rest of the family, strict $5 per person limit. Actually, $5 per person total spent is the goal, not just a limit. It is not allowed to buy a pack of gum and keep the change… (It’s been asked before)
With three kids buying presents for each other and Mom and Dad, it’s $20 per kid. I’d have to say it is my favorite shopping trip of the year. Totally worth the $60. In fact, probably the best $60 we spend on Christmas each year. Fun, educational, family time, and several teaching moments rolled into an afternoon.
To see what each child thinks is a good present for their brother/sister and for Mom is great! They are innovative and imaginative – sometimes even more than I am. They really do have fun finding treasures for the family.
We have fun dividing up the kids between Dawn and I and we head off into the store. We’ve done Target the last two years, and this year we decided to give Fred Meyer a shot. It was a great choice with plenty of options in our price range.
Since Dawn and I aren’t buying, we get to advise, motivate, and calculate for the kids. We try to teach them about shopping, “If you buy that for him also, you’ll be over the limit. Is THAT the present you really want to give ?” We throw out ideas for them to build on if they get stuck, but basically we try to stay out of the way and make this event for them.
The kids also wrap their presents and put them under the tree – that is a huge part of the experience. I’m always amazed at the amount of tape that can fit around a gift!
In the car on the way home, Ryan said that doing the family shopping was his favorite part of Christmas – he knew that Christmas day was almost here, and he couldn’t wait to watch us open the gifts.
What sort of special family traditions do you treasure each year?