Several years ago, I started the Prairie Family tradition of having the kids draw names between themselves for Christmas gift exchange. As they have gotten older and have earned their own money, I have had them buy the gifts, and this has been a good way to help them learn the joy of giving. They enjoy picking out the gifts for “their person” almost as much as they enjoy receiving them.
It gets rather complicated, though, trying to figure out who has whom. They like trying to keep it a secret so they can play a continual guessing game as Christmas draws near, but since there are only five kids, it usually is not very hard to figure it all out. So, this year I decided to make the process completely random, and I think I’ll keep doing it that way since it worked out pretty well. I used a dice simulator on random.org to match the kids up. The first set of rolls determined the order of the matches by birth order. Then the second set of rolls determined who that person was buying for. Yes, I guess that is kind of complicated, but it worked as well as anything else that I have done! 🙂
The kids really do put a lot of thought into their gifts, and they usually do pretty well. This year, John really surprised Luke by buying him a video game that he really did not expect to receive. Brock got John a CD of The Scarlet Pimpernel musical along with a boxed collection of Ray Stevens music. (Yes, this will give a lot of silly songs to add to our repertoire!) Cosette picked out the perfect gift for Brock when she chose a wallet that is made out of recycled sailcloth. (He likes strange things like that!) Luke got Kara a loom to make rubber band bracelets, and Kara got Cosette a make-your-own music-box kit that is really very cool.
Usually we each open a couple of presents on Christmas morning, and then clean up the mess and enjoy those gifts before opening the rest in the afternoon. This year was no different, and this slideshow is of the morning celebration:
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