I had a friend whose family is still very young ask me the other day how many gifts I give for my kids for Christmas. I think this is a great question. When your kids are little you set the precedent as to how many gifts they will open over Christmases to come. Jeff and I actually gave a lot of thought to this before Haley's first Christmas. I come from a family where Christmas was HUGE! I mean a living room FULL of gifts on Christmas morning. While I loved it I thought it may be a tad excessive. So here is what we came up with.
We give our girls each 3 gifts from us. These are wrapped and they open them on Christmas morning. We explained early on that we are celebrating Jesus' birthday and he got 3 gifts, so therefore they also receive 3 gifts.
In addition to these 3 gifts, they also receive a pair of new pj's each year but they open those at my mom's house on Christmas eve so they can change into them right then and there.
Of course, Santa comes as well. He fills each stocking and brings one gift that is not wrapped. Usually the biggest gift of the year. For us that has been a toy kitchen, a PS2, new portable DVD players, Barbie Jeep, and since 2006 -- A TRIP. Whatever the biggest, flashiest gift is - that is what Santa brought.
These things combined with all the loot they pull in from Grandmas and Aunts is more than enough. I don't think my children feel slighted in any way on the Christmas front. Plus it is another way to add a meaningful touch to the celebration.