Let's talk a bit more about gifts. As the kids get older the obvious need for toys get less (I mean they all have so many) and clothes get more difficult (I can not imagine someone knowing what my 12 year old would like - even I sometimes have no idea). Books are always an option. But let's talk Christmas in particular.
We have scaled down a lot for Christmas - maybe I took it too far when they were younger. But we started a new trend two years ago with the in laws - we would agree to buy a family girt for the kids for Christmas and not a gift for each on their own. This means you can buy something more expensive and it is often something that in general can be enjoyed by them all. In 2015 we decided on boardgames and we got Cluedo as a gift. There has been many many games of Cluedo since. (For now we will not discuss the matter or fights around board games....)
In any event in 2016 we agreed on books with the in laws and my children were all 3 delighted to received the Percy Jackson box set. Mr C is almost done with the 3rd book, The Princess has read the first 2 and is waiting to get no 3 fro C and Mr L is patiently waiting until we think his reading level is on par to tackle them. This gift has provided hours of reading fun and will still do so in future.
My mom also gave the kids one gift - Rummikub - which is a fantastic game that I really enjoy playing with them. It has become a somewhat staple Friday night activity for us. It has been apart from the Percy Jackson books the most used Christmas gift of the year. The kids also got a tub of giant marshmallows from a family friend - they have been greatly enjoyed at braais and we still have a few left that I am sure will get demolished soon.
I remember as a child (when we gave way more Christmas presents) there was a general thing with friends, neighbours and family to give say a tin of toffees or Woollies cookies (or homemade ones) to families.I love this idea - as I in general love the idea of boardgames.
I would love to know if you have done or received something similar and what are your thoughts.