What do many families around the world think about when they are waiting for Santa? The answer is simple. Most families worry about money around Christmas time. These days, children have come to expect more and more expensive Christmas presents. As it is, families often struggle to provide their younger members with expensive gifts. On this page, we are taking a look at how many presents should Santa give.
How many presents should Santa give? Some people use the four, five, or seven gifts rule, and others can not afford Christmas gifts at all. I really think we should stop focusing on how many presents Santa should bring. If you can’t afford the most expensive, give what is in your heart instead.
Has the way we celebrate Christmas gotten out of hand?
Many would argue that the message of Christmas has been lost. The true message of Christmas is one of kindness and love. But, in the spending frenzy which is now Christmas, the message of Christmas seems to have been lost.
When I was younger, the Christmas message was all about family and spending time with them. The one thing that I most look forward to growing up as a child in Sweden, was seeing my family and watching Disney on TV. As a matter of fact, looking back, I can’t remember any of my Christmas presents. I do wonder how many adults can remember the Christmas gifts we got as children. In short, should we give expensive Christmas? It is perhaps nice to have one expensive present from Santa. but I certainly don’t think that we need a lot of them. Smaller presents are much more fun and will probably keep kids entertained for longer.
Of course, if your family is rich, giving more expensive presents is perhaps more appropriate. But, once again, do we really remember them? Instead what I think we remember are the presents that became treasured memories. In other words, it is the small things that really matter.
What really matters is time together. Looking back now, I realize that it is what I learned from my grandma around Christmas that has made a difference throughout my life.
No matter where I am in the world, I like to get together in the Kitchen around Christmas time. Yes, it was the kitchen my grandma used to retreat to in the early part of December. She used to put an apron on me and we started to bake. Today in Sweden, baking for Christmas is still a big deal. You make everything from gingerbread cookies to lussekatter. Lussekatter are traditional Swedish bread made with saffron.
You bake them before the Lucia festival which also takes place in December. It is all part of the Christmas celebrations in Sweden. Hopefully, you will have some lussekatter left over for Christmas morning.
The other thing we always made was ischoklad. This is another Swedish delicacy that is always made in time for Christmas. It actually means ice chocolate. The name describes it pretty accurately. It actually feels a little bit cold to eat and tastes different from ordinary chocolate.
Sweet treats are an important part of Christmas in Sweden. We have many different ones including a syrupy treat called Knack.
Other Treasured Memories
While still dressed in that pretty white apron with the snow falling outside, my grandma and I used to make candles.
Candles are another important part of the Swedish Christmas tradition. Many families still make their own. You can make tall long ones and smaller chunkier ones. One thing is for sure, there is nothing like making candles with your grandma.
On top of that, we used to make our own Christmas crackers and wreaths. Christmas crackers in Sweden are either large or small. Making them is something most children do. Once they are made, we fill them with little treats or boiled sweets. I still make them today and give them away as presents.
There we go again, Christmas presents don’t have to be expensive. They just have to come from the heart.
Christmas wreaths are also a popular homemade item. Once again with my intrepid grandma, I used to go into the forest to gather acorns and pine branches. It was a dense forest with lots of pine trees. We often used to go towards the end of the day when it was getting darker.
According to my grandma, the pine branches lasted longer. I remember being frighten as I used to think the trolls would come and find us. When are in a Swedish forest, you can easily understand where the folklore of trolls came from. Honestly, they appear to be everywhere.
Should You Feel Bad About Not Giving Your Children a New iPhone?
So, where am I going with all of this? Well, what I think I am trying to say that ultimately, it is the memories we create around Christmas that are the best gifts. When we look back at our lives, we will probably remember those special memories more than we will remember anything else.
If you like, in many ways, Christmas is a learning experience. We can learn so much around this time of the year. Often you will find it is what you do for others that really matters. When you find that you can’t afford to give your kids the latest gadgets, maybe you should think about what you have given of yourself instead. In could be something as so simple as having spent time decorating the Christmas tree together.
More than likely, especially in Sweden, you have probably done some things you will remember. Perhaps you have been to see Lucia and drunk hot Swedish Gevalia coffee with a lussekatt on a cold winter’s night.
How did that make you feel? Try to think about how all of these special things you do together this time of the year, make you feel.
Should We Stop Worrying About How Many Presents Should Santa Give?
As our world is changing, we should perhaps stop to worry about how many should Santa give? Maybe we should start thinking about what we can give to others.
The physical things don’t really matter. Sadly, the physical expensive things we give away at Christmas have come to dominate the socalled Season of Good Will. To be honest, it seems to have turned into the Season of Buying Power instead.
Leading up to Christmas, we focus more on Black Friday than we do on the beginning of Advent. We buy Advent calenders containing increasingly expensive gifts.
Do we really need to do that? Instead, let us try to focus on the real message of Christmas, or Jul as it is called in Sweden.
In Sweden, we like to celebrate Christmas with lots of light. We light up our homes and our gardens with candles. What if we could all do something that made the world a brighter place instead?
If we were to install other values than gift-giving in our children, the world would probably be a lot better. Many people go to church at Christmas. Not because they necessarily want to “commune” with God. They go because they would like to experience moments of peace and serenity in their lives.
Isn’t that exactly what we need right now? If there was more of that around, perhaps the world would be a better guide.
So here is a little mini gift guide to small gifts that would create special memories:
A Mini Gift Guide to A More Mindful Christmas
- Christmas cookie cutters
- An apron
- Candle making equipment
- A nice tablecloth
- Swedish Christmas crackers filled with treats or small homemade gifts
- Liljeholmens Candles – Swedish candles are second to none
- A cake tin for your Christmas cake
- A homemade wreath to go on the front door
- A special book
- A Christmas recipe collection
Once you start celebrating a more mindful Christmas, you will probably find that you get a lot more out of it. Yes, it is going to be a big change but is a great way of making this time of the year even more special.
There are so many things that we can give that have meaning. I have many things from my childhood that mean a lot to me. Believe it or not, I even have the cake tin my grandma used to make the Swedish delicacy Tosca cake in. Before that, her mum used to make cakes in it.
It has traveled all of the way from the United States where a relative bought it when he left Sweden to settle in Chicago. Well, old Uncle Oskar came back as he missed Sweden and brought the cast iron cake tin back. Funny enough, it is said that he came back just before Christmas one year.
Stop focusing on how many presents should Santa bring. Instead, think about what really matters and what is going to create treasured memories for many years to come. Those are the true Christmas presents and gifts that will stay with you for the rest of your life and keep on giving.
If you can’t afford the most expensive, give what is in your heart instead. Hopefully, that will mean that you will be giving love away.