Three Tips to Simplifying Christmas with Kids

By Rhonda Ihrig

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Christmas is here! The lights are up, the tree is trimmed and all the decorations are in place. But my Christmas shopping is not quite done. For the last couple years I have tried to have all of it done by the first week of December, and I have done pretty well. But I must confess, online shopping is the ONLY way I can accomplish that. Besides, it’s fun having presents delivered almost everyday.

Going store shopping can be a bit daunting, especially when you have small children. It’s particularly difficult when they believe every conversation you have with your spouse is about the present you are going to buy them or may have already bought them. So logistically, internet shopping is so much easier. You can do it without interruption, in your jammies, AND everything is delivered right to your door.

But that too can have its drawbacks. Your kids, and your husband for that matter, realize that each time the doorbell rings, it’s not a salesman or the neighbor; it’s a Christmas delivery. That equates to careful inspection of EVERY package to look it over and speculate what it could be. Yikes!!

Then there is the task of hiding everything till you can get it wrapped and under the tree. Do you every feel like a government agent looking for an undiscovered secret location where only spies can enter??!! But even getting everything under the tree is no guarantee that they won’t look at the tags, shake the boxes, or (heaven forbid) unwrap everything, look at it all, and then re-wrap. Whew!

So to prevent the compromise of Christmas surprise, I came across a wonderful and innovative solution to the “shake the box and unwrap it” syndrome. I have a friend who told me her mother would put bells inside each and every gift when she wrapped them. That way she could hear the movement of the gifts and would know when anyone was trying to sabotage Christmas morning. My eyes became wide and I said, “ that is genius”! I only wished it was my original thought.

So here are my Christmas tips:

  • Shop online! You can do it day or night and can accomplish it in your bathrobe. 
  • Intercept all delivered packages and hide them where no one in the family goes...like the dishwasher. LOL
  • Finally, if you have kids (or a spouse) that snoop, wrap everything with bells inside it. It may produce a different version of Jingle Bells but it will make all of your diligence pay off on Christmas morning.

I hope and pray you all have a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful and blessed New Year.


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Rhonda is a Pastors’ wife, mother and grandmother. She lives in Livermore California, but you can also find her on the back of a Harley taking long rides with her husband, Larry. Rhonda loves God, her family, coffee and chocolate. Her passion is to see people serve God to the fullest and to see them receive every blessing that God has promised.

Check her out on Instagram and Facebook!