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Committed: The Ties that Bond

with Angella Dykstra

I'm a mom of three, a professional accountant, and an amateur photographer and writer. I am not a marriage expert. But my husband and I take "Til death do us part" seriously, and here I'll be sharing how we keep our marriage strong while we both do that insane work-life juggle.

Check out my Work It, Mom! profile and my blog, Dutch Blitz.

What’s Your Gift Limit For The Holidays?

Categories: children, holidays

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Christmas is only a few days away and while we believe that “Jesus is the reason for the season”, we also buy presents and fill stockings and have a “Santa present” for our kids. We have a chalkboard advent calendar that the kids cross off and a bowl of candy that they can take a piece from each day.

But let’s get back to the presents. It’s my natural inclination to buy my kids so much, because I love them so much, and for many years I thought that they should have a lot of gifts to open on Christmas morning. Then we had a few years where the mix of presents from us and their grandparents (and aunts and uncles) got to be ridiculous. It was a free-for-all and not at all what we want Christmas to be about.

We have scaled back. We buy practical gifts (snow gear, this year — warm clothes and snow shoes), with one “big” gift and a stocking full of stuffers. The set of grandparents who like to fill their dollar limit buy one gift and give the remaining limit in cash for the kids to spend on something they want, instead of plastic junk that we’ll just have to recycle.

In addition to paring down the grandparent side, the aunts and uncles have all decided to work together toward an alternative to the Present-Fest. Instead of exchanging gifts with my husband’s two siblings and their families, we’ve opted to have a Family Day at the ski hill and spend our money on all of the passes and lunches and whatnot.

I kind of love how things are pared down. Gifts, but not to excess. Family time spent being active together instead of drowning in wrapping paper. Less time spent SHOPPING. (Shopping is not something I enjoy.)

How many gifts do you get your kids for the holidays? Is there a dollar limit? Do you go all out? How do you decide?

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