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  1. I love this idea! You’re definitely smart to start this tradition while your kids are young. I would love to simplify our Christmas celebration a bit, but with older kids, we’ve already established expectations. I don’t want to make them feel like we’re taking something away from their Christmas. It’s so hard to strike the right balance between presents under the tree and celebrating the ultimate gift of Jesus’ birth!

  2. Great idea to start early! My oldest is 3 and I already feel overwhelmed when grandparents or friends ask what she needs/wants for birthdays/Christmas. My youngest doesn’t need anything because we still have all the age specific toys and clothes that are in great shape. I’m constantly donating stuff because grandparents give a little too freely (despite polite protests).
    The secret Santa is also a wonderful idea! I wish we could implement that with my dad’s family. I have 3 stepsisters and Christmas has become a circus over there. It’s become about who gave the best, most expensive presents. The kids throw fits if it’s not exactly what they want. My nephew (10 years old) literally threw a brand new Nintendo DS across the room because he asked for a PS Vita.

    1. I’m so sorry you have to deal with all that from your family, it certainly makes the holidays so stressful. Something I though of after I wrote this post was to include experience gifts. For example my mother buys a season pass to the zoo for the kids every year. It’s a clutter free gift that they enjoy all year long, and my mom loves it too because she loves taking them to the zoo and they get to enjoy that special time together. Perhaps you could suggest something similar to the grandparents 🙂

  3. I love this post because we are doing the same thing. For other people I make the gifts every year, (which always goes well) and for the children they get what they need. (Too young to tell us what they want)
    Have a Merry Christmas.

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