Our family will be starting a new tradition this Christmas. The Four Gift Rule. It’s really very simple; the kids get four gifts: one thing they want, one they read, one they wear and one they need. There’s a lot of reasons we’re paring it down. I want the kids to know there’s more to Christmas than presents and understand the true meaning. I want them to appreciate the things they have. I’m taming myself from filling the space under the tree with shiny plastic that’s forgotten within the week. It’s about quality not quantity.
I figured it would be best to start this tradition early; before any real greed and expectations set in. I’ve written a couple of poems to accompany the gifts under the tree this first go round. They may not fully understand them this year but I hope they become a part of our holiday decor and are refered to in Christmases to come. The first is secular and the second religious. Anyone who’s planning on scaling back this Christmas please feel free to use either. With a couple of word substitutions they’re suitable for any family.
From The Desk of Santa Claus:
Alright girls so here’s the deal
The world has gotten greedy
Mountains of lists a mile long
Everyone forgets the needy!
My elves are working night and day
to fill the huge demand.
There’s not enough to go around
for all the kids in the land.
So I looked into my crystal ball
to find children, kind and smart
who know the truth of Christmas
is not in gifts, but in your heart.
You ladies are among the few
who could have a few less toys
so that I would have enough
for other good girls and boys.
After all this season is
for love, kindness and caring.
By getting a little less this year
with others you are sharing!
Enjoy the gifts I’ve brought you,
under the tree there’s four.
Something you want, need, read and wear;
in your stockings a little more.
Mostly enjoy your family
the gift you have all year.
There is no other present
more precious or so dear.
The True Gift of Christmas
Christmas is Jesus’ birthday;
humbly in a stable He was born,
but all the Heavens and the earth
rejoiced that glorious morn.
With love for us He opened Heaven
when on the cross He died,
but in His life He taught us things
by which we should all abide.
Remember always to love and honor God.
To be gentle, kind and to share
with every person in the world,
shining His love everywhere.
The few gifts under the tree
are nothing when compared to
the power you have to spread the love
that He has put inside you.