Is shopping for gifts this Christmas overwhelming you and your checkbook?!? Our family adopted a system last year that simplified the process as well as eliminated the “buying-for-the-sake-of-buying” that we felt was taking away from what Christmas and Advent really meant to our family.

As the parents of six children, keeping their closets well-stocked throughout the year and providing them with the basic necessities can be daunting. Now, throw Christmas gifts into the mix and the costs can spiral out of control. We have gracious children, they are rather appreciative of the gifts they are given and the blessings in their lives. They rarely display attitudes of entitlement, so when we stumbled upon this little Christmas idea, we felt it was a perfect fit for our family’s philosophy.

Overall, our children didn’t really ask for outrageous items at Christmas, so this really wasn’t going to mean they would be learning to receive less, it was really a simplification process. We adopted the: Something I Want, Something I Need, Something I’ll Wear and Something I’ll Read system. Then of course, each child asks Santa for one special item.

I simply created a document on my computer and printed out six copies. Last year it was quite simple, but this year I found one on Pinterest and printed it out. It’s a little more colorful 😉

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This system has really helped simplify our shopping and it has also made all of us much more aware of what we desire. It is fun to hear them say things like, “There really isn’t anything I need or want.” It has been a bit of an “aha” moment for the kids to examine what they have and what they want and see that we really can lose sight of the reason for the season by getting “wrapped” up in the gifts!

It may be too late for your family to adopt this method for Christmas, but I hope you will consider it for next year. As families gather for the holidays, let us not focus on what we are receiving, but on what we are giving to others. Our time and the general attitude we put forward each day can bless others in so many ways.

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!


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Traci Runge

Traci was born and raised in San Diego and has called Kearney, Nebraska home for the past 18 years. She is married to Darby Runge and together they have 6 children. They own and operate Pro-Tint, a window tinting business. Along with being a full-time mom, Traci is also a Manager and Certified Trainer with SendOutCards, she works with businesses and individuals to build relationships and grow their income through Relationship Marketing. Traci works hard to balance her roles of mother, wife and business owner. She strives to help make the world a better place through kindness and love and leading by example. Traci is committed to her family, church and community and can often be found volunteering in some capacity.