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21 Days to a Simple Christmas: Day 3 {Update}

Join the 21 Days to a Simple Christmas Challenge

Today’s project was to read Chapter 2 of Celebrating & Savoring a Simple Christmas (Did you sign up for your free copy yet? If not, click here and fill out the form to be emailed a copy.) and to figure out your Christmas gift list.

Our Christmas Gift List

As I mentioned, we pared down our list this year. Here’s my list:

  • Immediate family: gifts + stocking stuffers
  • Extended family: Names we drew + a few family gifts
  • Our team members
  • White Elephant gifts for upcoming Christmas parties
  • Service workers: mail people, library staff, etc.
  • Kids’ friends

And I think that’s it. If I get inspired to do more, I might. But I’m giving myself grace this year to not have to do a bunch of gifts for a bunch of different people. And it feels good. 🙂

Did you figure out your Christmas gift list? Share it with us in the comments. And if you’re blogging about this challenge, I’d love it if you left a link to your blog post, too. Let’s encourage each other to simplify and savor this season more.

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  • Monica says:

    For the past few years we have only given gifts to our two kids, parents (monetary) and baked goods to friends/siblings. The amount we spend on both our kids is the same equal amount we give to both set of parents. This year we are doing a gift exchange which will come out of the Christmas money I saved up. All gifts thus far, have been paid with CASH ONLY! =)

  • Diane says:

    I’m all done with my Christmas shopping. This is unusual for me, but I’ve learned to watch sales all through the year for potential Christmas gifts. I’m glad, because now I can sit back and focus on other activities of the season!

  • Mary says:

    We do gifts for our 5 kids, 4 nieces and nephews, his parents & sister & brother in law, and each other. Some years we’ve tried not giving each other stuff, but that never works out! We also have a gift exchange with my dad’s extended family and secret santa in our homeschool group. We have stockings at home and with each of our parents. It’s a lot to manage, but I have an app on my phone that is helping me keep track!

  • Shelly says:

    I was so glad to see today’s challenge was something I was already done with. It was a busy day today and I’m glad it’s almost over. 🙂

    We also draw names for my extended family. It’s so nice to just shop for one person. We purchase for my husband’s parents and I send homemade candy and cookies to my sister in law and her family with a card. Everyone else get homemade candy and cookies. So our list isn’t too extensive.

    Here’s the link to my post,

  • Sarah E says:

    Your chapter is so similar to a post I wrote a couple of weeks ago! We try to keep our gift-giving list fairly small in order to keep ourselves within budget, but also to keep things from getting out of hand. It’s so easy to just “throw gifts at people” b/c we feel we must. I’d rather keep my list small and really enjoy the hunt of finding a great gift they will really enjoy! At this point, we buy 4 gifts for each child – something they want, need, can wear, and read. It forces us to draw the line somewhere and not go crazy. We still buy for our parents, but have stopped giving to siblings now that children have come along so we can focus on buying for the kids only. I typically will make special treats for people like preschool teachers, nursery workers, or any other service people who bless us throughout the year. My post about giving fewer gifts can be found at:

  • Jenny says:

    We cut back a bit further this year by replacing some of the “traditional gifts” with homemade food and gifts of our time instead. I blogged about it at and will be sharing examples of some nontraditional gift ideas on my blog later today.

  • Amy says:

    I’m curious as to what ideas you have for service workers. I’d love to bless my mail carrier and UPS delivery man this year, but we are running out of money!

    • Connie says:

      Me too. One problem I run into is that we have multiple mail carriers and different trash crews.

    • Crystal says:

      We usually do a small gift card for each person. It’s a small thing, but they get SO excited about it and talk about it for months! It makes me think that it’s not something a lot of people do.

  • Karen says:

    We give gifts to our family (5) and only 4-5 gifts for extended family. Then we will do some homemade treats to some friends. When we make homemade chocolate I make some extra to give to some friends.

    I blogged about this challenge here:

  • Here is my list for 7 children. I’ve been making most of their gifts, and showing them as I finish them as part of my “Gift a Day” series.

    We will be making rosemary olive oil bread for gifts for friends, teachers, and leaders. I divide the recipe into 8 loaves, for a cost of 18 cents a loaf. We gave this last year and people kept asking us about it all year, hinting how much they want us to make it again, so it’s definitely something we’ll be repeating. It was a lot less work than cookies, and much less expensive, too!

  • Joan Young-Santiago says:

    I start saving $25 a week beginning in January! (Holiday Club) Kids gifts get done 1st!!
    I shop for 9 immediate family members.

    For Immediate (adults) family , each gets a wrapped box with smaller individually wrapped within. Containing small cost stuff mix (minimum of 3 items) such as 1 store or general bank gift card ($30), prepaid 1 month phone service ($25-$40), Avon fragrance gift set ($10-$20), hair salon ($25), mani/pedi gift certificate($25), tree ornament($5-$20), mass transportation cost for 1 or 2 weeks etc. Depending on my budget for that year.

    Family (Kids) 1-2 toys per kid, ($60-$100 total cap), 2 articles of clothing per kid ($25-$40 cap total) .

    Friends, Teachers & mail persons get HM brownies or HM chocolates dressed up on inexpensive plates.

  • Sometimes my gift list is the most difficult part of the holidays! Especially finding something for my husband! In all honesty, though, I have gotten multiple gift ideas from MSM!


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