Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Gimme, Gimme, Gimme... (a.k.a. our new Santa Letter tradition)

Sometimes the Holiday season drives me crazy...  something about the crowded stores and the increase in TV commercials for dumb toys... the tripling in phone calls to my house asking for me to donate to another good cause also drives me crazy - but that's another post!  Today I'll just focus on commercialism... because frankly  -  I love Christmas, it's a great holiday...  a great time to reflect on our lives, our spirituality, our commitment to our family - everything about it is wonderful (Mmmm... pumpkin pie...), everything... except that Gimme attitude!

In an effort to combat this attitude we have simplified our Christmas letters to "Santa" - each child now sends a form letter to Santa (We hope the fat man won't hold this against our children) and has only a few places to put requests...

Dear Santa,

I have been very Good / Bad this year.  The thing I want most for Christmas is _______.  When I go outside to play it would be nice to have a ___________ also.  The best movie to bring me this year would be ___________ and when I sit down to read I would like to have ___________.  A ___________ would help me a lot with learning about new stuff.  And since I keep growing it’s probably about time I had some new ___________ to wear!  Just for fun it would be nice to have a game like ___________ or a toy I saw called ___________.  Thanks so much for everything!

Love, ___________  


P.S.  My favorite Candy is ___________ 

Now, to be honest - there is no WAY the kids are getting everything off these lists anyway - but it does prevent them from filling a page with every new Wii game, and it reminds them gently that there are simpler wants in the world...  like Kit-Kat Bars and a bookmark (two of this years' requests)

Problem Solved?  Yeah right... not there yet, but this is just our second year with this system, and it has already saved money, stress, and whining...  anything that cuts back on Whining is a winner in my book!

16 comments:

Malinda said...

Wow, that's a really good idea. Maybe I should try it, but it won't really work with my kids. The only one that wants the most stuff is my oldest. The other 2 are fine with anything you give them. Thank-you for posting on my blog, I really appreciate it.

Becky said...

Nice! I thinking Santa won't hold that against you. He may be slightly offended that you refer to him as "the fat man," but whatev. It's a rule he's gotta stay jolly, right?

Becky said...

That's supposed to say I'm thinking, not I thinking. Obviously. :)

Chelsi said...

A Santa form letter...very clever! Good to have some good ideas on how to cut down on the crazy Christmas wish lists.

just the five of us said...

Great idea...This year my children are making "Gratitude lists" instead of a Santa list. They have a million things, and they can be greatful for a million things! (Santa will still visit) but the season will not be about want want want:D

Mrs de Miranda said...

That is a GREAT idea!! I love it!

Anna Lefler said...

Oh, that's genius! Why didn't I think of that?

BAM.

:^) Anna

sassy stephanie said...

Man, I'm battling with my 6 yr old.

"Honey, you won't get everything you ask for. We only do three presents each."

"That's ok. There's always Santa."

Oy.

Thanks for sharing in my SITS day with me!

Sher said...

Most of mine have figured out that Santa just doesn't bring much. Poor Kayli was so disappointed the two years she wanted her own condo with a jeep and a stocked fridge. Santa is such a disappointment sometimes! I love your letter -- I would be using it except everyone that can write has given me a list except Jake and I'm not bothering to ask him. He doesn't really want anything specific but he'd be happy to make something up that's different every time I ask him!

LC said...

That letter is great and phew! I was relieved to hear they're not getting everything on that list. The girls already are wondering why Santa brings their friends 3 gifts and our family one each. Kate is asking for a 'shop' which means a mini building from which she will sell lots of cool stuff? eek-can it be made of cardboard...I might be using that form letter...just out of curiosity.

Amy said...

Visiting via SITS! I so agree with that gimmee attitude Christmas has caused. Good idea you got there :D

mariann and Tory said...

That is awesome that you guys do that! I get tired of the gimmie gimmie attitude. It is one of my pet peavs of this time of year. I like the giving attitude by far the most!

Megz said...

My form letter for Santa would start with 'Dear Santa, I only want one thing from the Dollar Store and it's______. ' Wouldn't that be nice??

Nanny Goats In Panties said...

Ooooh, a Christmas Wish List with boundaries.....genius!

Firefly said...

Awesome T. It made me think of those MadLibs that my brother and I would do on car trips. Where you'd ask people to think of a noun, a verb, etc. and then when you read it back it was hilarious.

T said...

hahaha... One year I actually sent out a MadLib Christmas Letter... made everyone fill in important details of our lives, like what gender of baby we were expecting... Too bad it was funnier to ME than to most members of the family :)