TODAY

TODAY   |  December 17, 2013

Parents adopt ‘3-present rule’ for kids at Christmas

Parents around the country are starting to use a three-present rule, inspired by the three gifts given to Jesus at his birth, to keep their family focused on the positive messages of Christmas instead of the presents.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> well, if the christmas season is a hectic time at your house, this can help bring peace. many parents are doing a three gift christmas for presents. that means just three presents for each child. one mother told today.com that she asked her kids to come up with three gifts, one they want, one they need and one they will read. and the idea is inspired by the story of jesus receiving three gifts from the wise men. i love this idea. it's so great. but after the first and second gift, they're not really caring what else they get.

>> we do it. sometimes it's just two gifts. i think it's a great idea.

>> i'm one of the aning people w aging people who need the vitamins. when our kids were little, we went to colorado all the time for christmas . and one of the best things anybody ever told me was a young woman that i met there had also young children, she said if you want to make christmas manageable, serene, actually more joyful and more about the season and the reason for the season , give your kids three gifts like baby jesus got. gold, frankincense and myrrh from the wise men. we started doing it that very year and we did it all their growing up years. they're 24 almost and 20 now. and the interesting thing is this year at thanksgiving, they both finally said we don't need presents anymore, mom. let's just be together. and i went -- did anybody get that on tape? of course my children are perfect. but i think because we kept it manageable, the expectations are different. and you start to appreciate god's gift to the world and appreciate one another even if you don't think they're god's gift to you.

>> and we actually ask you about on today.com. how many presents will each of your children get this year? most of you said between 4 and 8 gifts. 34% said three or less. and a whopping 13% said more than