Breaking The Bank For Christmas- Why We Don’t Do It
Last year there was a post that went viral about the Mom who spends buys 350 presents for her kids . While I agree, it’s completely her business what she wants to buy and how much she wants to spend I do think it’s kind of insane. When the kids were babies, my husband and I talked about what we wanted to do for Christmas and what realistic expectations we wanted to set.
So Many Gifts, So Little Time
I have an aunt and uncle that used to kill themselves working 2-3 jobs during the holidays so that they could give their 4 kids a giant Christmas. There would be several “big” items. The kids would wind up picking 1-2 they really liked and then ignoring the rest because it was just too much to take in. At no fault of their own, it’s impossible for a kid to truly appreciate and enjoy that many big gifts. Then, the adults would complain because they spend all this money and the kids don’t play with half the stuff…until Christmas fever hit and it started again.
The first year we got a couple small toys and then put some cash into their savings accounts. It’s a lot harder than you would think to stick with buying a few things even when you have an infant at Christmas. The kids are now 6 and 3 (almost 4) and we’ve done a good job at sticking to our budget. We try our best to be able to pay cash for Christmas instead of having to depend on credit cards.
We try and get one major gift, then a few small ones to go along with it and then typically something to share like legos or last year it was a riding toy. I know as they get older it will be harder to stay in the budget that we have for them as things get more expensive. When they are 3 and 6 you can get a decent amount of stuff for a small price.
That Time With All The Dolls
The idea that buying a whole bunch and then the kids not appreciating it really sank in when my daughter was 2 and a family member bought her EVERY Disney 19″ plush doll that the Disney Store had and I’m not exaggerating. My daughter was, of course, excited when she first opened them all and then there were two that she played with. These dolls were $20 each and there were 8 or 9 of them.
This same person made a comment about another child that was older and how they weren’t grateful and just demanded things. I’m sure that if they started out in a similar situation to what was just done with my daughter, they are just letting you know what they want and expect it. How do you teach them to be grateful when you give them one of everything? Being grateful doesn’t necessarily come natural and sometimes you have to help your child learn what it means.
Is It Enough?
This year each kid had 5 presents each from us and there was a moment where I completely felt panicked and thought I needed to go find something else for them to open. I reluctantly didn’t after seriously going back and forth over it and two days later on Christmas morning, they were not disappointed at all. They were excited about what they had and so far have played with it all. The thing that may be worse than overwhelming a kid with a bunch of new stuff is not having a place to put all the stuff, to begin with. We try and be conscious of what they really really want as well as what they’ll be able to get some use out of.
Sometimes we pressure ourselves too much in thinking that our kids expect or want more than they really do. What they want, is for us to be present and involved. Whether they get 1 present or 350 thecy are going to love you the same. I promise.What they want, is for us to be present and involved. Whether they get 1 present or 350 thecy are going to love you the same. I promise. Click To Tweet
Don’t totally believe me? Kristina Kuzmic has a GREAT video on Christmas that relates to this ❤️ Check it out!