I love this time of year. The snow is new and not yet annoying, although right now I would be delighted if the temperature would bump up ten degrees or so. I love Christmas music. We won’t even get into my twinkle light addiction. But I do get annoyed with the concept of the “gimme season” that I hear so much about.
Granted gift giving can be challenging for many people. But what baffles me is people panicking about how to purchase every thing on their children’s wish lists. I know those lists. I remember one year we received a catalogue with every toy the store carried. The thing was HUGE. My brother and I gleefully circled (in separate colors for clarification) every single toy we wanted and showed it to our mother.
I know I had to have circled hundreds of dollars in toys, but Mom didn’t worry about how to buy them all. She looked through my wishes quite seriously and then asked me to mark which five things I wanted the most. It took days of consideration to figure that out. Once I had narrowed the list down she asked me to rank them from most wanted to least.
Mom did not race around, trying to find all my top five items, either. Not all five were under the tree on Christmas morning. I got one of them, along with some smaller gifts. And I was perfectly happy with it. Ok, so the socks and pajamas were not the most exciting things, but the pale pink nightgown with the angels on it was wonderfully soft flannel and I was very sad when it was too small to wear anymore.
The thing is, opening presents in the morning was only one part of our family Christmas. Playing games, doing puzzles, and going to Grandma’s were all just as important at our house as the gifts. Christmas was an entire day of celebration, not just an hour or so of opening presents. And my brother and I knew perfectly well we would never get everything we asked for. It was fine. We weren’t disappointed by what we didn’t get, we enjoyed what we did get. I know we both have some of those dearly loved gifts. Ok. So, I still have every single Christmas doll.
The point is that kids don’t need everything they see to be happy. They need time with family and friends. So teach the kids that nobody gets everything, relax, and put the energy into the games and time together instead of shopping.