Reclaiming Christmas

I must admit I am not a Christmas person. I love what it's about but hate what it has become so much so I would never even go through the motions of putting up a tree. Side note-this would nearly give my mother a heart attack every year as she is the Queen of Christmas. We're talking takes days to decorate her home & has a full on snow village complete with moving ice skaters, Ferris wheel, blinking lights, village homes, get the picture. But when I see Christmas I see consumerism, the crankiness of people and all of the things I have to do to prepare for the holiday. It becomes about things instead of the only thing we should be celebrating-Jesus. Coming right off of a holiday that's simply about giving thanks the transition is jarring to me. Fast forward to now having a child. If it were up to me we'd just ignore everything that goes with the holiday and skate right through it but I know that's not reality. I started thinking about ways we could reclaim the holiday and what new tradition we could create within our family that honors the true sacredness of the holiday without going overboard. I heard about an idea last year I really grabbed hold of and we decided this is how we will celebrate the holidays with our children. For Christmas every year they will get something they want, something they need, something to wear, something to read and something to give. 5 things and that's it. Reading is hugely important to me and I have read to Milo since he was itty bitty. To me one of the best things you can instill in a child is a love for books and reading. The other thing hugely important to Joel and I is to teach Milo is to love to give. We both believe its better to give than receive and we both love to give to others. This year for Milo's something to give we donated to the American Cancer Society in his name. As he gets older I can't wait until he can make the decision about where he wants his "give" money and time to go to. It is my sincere hope that his "give" is his absolute favorite part of the holiday. So this is our little part in how we plan to reclaim Christmas for our family. What are your ideas on how to keep Christmas simple and pointed in the right direction?