For Christmas we only give the children 3 gifts each. Well, 3 gifts plus their stocking, but 3 presents they will open Christmas morning.
I've had some people ask why we do this. The reason is very simple - Christmas isn't about the gifts, it's about the event of Christ's birth. I find that in many cases the idea of presents overshadows why we have Christmas in the first place.
Something I try to overemphasize is that we GIVE gifts because we love someone. We want to show to our family and friends that we love them, so at Christmas time we give them gifts. We only RECEIVE gifts because others love us and want to show that love.
Something else we also do is sponsor children through DSS. I'll post about that tomorrow. But it again drives home the idea of giving rather than receiving.
I also think only doing 3 gifts really helps keep me under a good budget and helps me from over buying. Sure I want to get my kids everything they ask for - but they don't need it. And I don't need the clutter in my house.
But why 3? Well, when the Magi came to the Christ child they brought him three gifts. Good enough for Christ - more than enough for our children.
This year both kids are getting a pile of books (I think it's like 5 or 6 each, as one gift), something for their bed (a pillow for Mac, a tent/canopy thing for SB), and an educational game. All useful, nothing I would really consider "fluff" gifts (we leave those for grandparents), and all things I think they'll love.