By Leonard Davidson
One year for Christmas our family decided to implement a new idea. We had been discussing wanting to cut back that year—partially because in prior years we seemed to really go overboard. We were buying for the sake of buying. Honestly, it was more about us feeling good about what we did than thoughtful purchasing.
Then we read a devotional by Linda Mintle entitled “An Uncluttered Christmas,” and we decided to follow some of her thinking. We asked the adult children to make lists for themselves and ones for the young children. The list could include one couple gift and then individual gifts. We set dollar limits, which was really hard for my wife. The items listed had to follow three basic guidelines: a gift really desired, a needed item and a relatively educational gift.
It was fun watching the family sit and work on the lists. They asked questions of us (mostly about raising cost limits). They wrote, then thought a while, crossed out and wrote again. It was fun for my wife and me to compare what had been listed. Some detailed their lists, while other lists were more vague. My daughter-in-law, Jessica, wrote down the name of the couple gift, which store it was in, the description on the box and the bar code number. Guess how organized her home is.
Shopping was actually fun. We were a bit nervous on Christmas morning. The tree looked really bare compared to the previous year when the gifts were piled so high the tree was barely visible.
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