I'm actually kind of excited about it as I love to make things and because it makes the gifts a bit more special. Plus, we don't really need more stuff. I spend far too much time fixing, putting away, and then giving away stuff. We've talked with the children and explained there won't be as much under the tree, but emphasized we would still do all the things we usually do that make Christmas special. They all seem OK with it. They're probably more OK with it than I am since I love to give them gifts.
We've also changed one other family tradition this year. In the past, I have helped each child make a gift for each sibling. It started out manageable enough. Four children meant that each child made three gifts. I would get kits or some project for them to do and part of the specialness was the new craft plus time alone spent with Mom. As the number of children grew, this process became incredibly unwieldy. I was really scrambling last year to come up with ideas for each child to make and the time to work on them. Something had to change. So this year we have drawn names. One child will make a gift for one other person. Since we aren't including the babies this year, that's 7 gifts. Actually it's 5 gifts that I have to help with because M. and B. are quite capable of tackling that project on their own. The children all decided that they wanted to keep the names a secret so as to add to the surprise. They are quite happy with the new plan. They like the idea of being able to take a little more time and do something a bit more elaborate for their chosen brother or sister. We drew names a couple of nights ago since they all wanted to start planning right away.
And because no post is complete without baby pictures: