Every year, I take my munchkins to the Dollar Store to do their Christmas Shopping. While I realize a dollar store is no place to find quality gifts, it is a place they can shop without me constantly over their shoulder checking prices. They have the freedom to choose what they like, for who they like.
If they want to buy something for the mailman, they have my blessing. I do not, if at all possible, sway them in any which direction on what to buy.
I silently follow them, always amused, as they peruse each aisle in search of that "most perfect" Christmas gift. They fill their little shopping baskets with goodies for just about every person they know.
Luckily for me my kids don't know too many people.
Once all gifts have been thoughtfully and carefully selected, we set aside an hour for them to wrap their own gifts. I set out cheap wrapping paper and stick on bows. We play Christmas music. They cut and tape until their tiny little hearts are content.
Every gift they give is completely from them.
If Hubby is to receive a pen that reads "#1 Uncle", wrapped almost entirely in Scotch Tape, then that is what he will receive.
This method of gift giving makes for a very interesting Christmas Eve. Before bed, the munchkins set their gifts under the tree and walk every self-wrapped present to its recipient. Over the years we have unwrapped rocks, plastic flowers, whistles, stuffed animals, keychains, notepads, pens, hair clips and several gifts of the homemade variety.
And they are some of the most cherished gifts ever given in our home.
Our "Dollar Store Christmas" allows my munchkins to do just that. On their own terms.