With consumerist craziness in its ascendance at this time of year, it is a challenge to keep things simple. I remind myself that children, all of us, really, remember the good times we share more than we remember specific presents.

When my kids were growing up I tried to keep the madness in check by observing a three-present limit: book, sweater and toy, that is, something for the mind, something for the body and something for the spirit.  Of course I bent the rule on many occasions, but I still find it helpful to remember those categories when selecting gifts.

This year I am giving my two ‘grandgirls’ children’s museum memberships in their parents’ names. With my name included as childcare provider, I can take them to the museum too. We will have fun!

Sometimes I think I just want off the gift exchange merry-go-round, but I wouldn’t want to stay off the ride forever. Exchanging presents, any time of year, can be wonderful. Moderation keeps it fun.