When I was growing up, My mom had me write a Christmas list every year. On Christmas morning, I was so excited to open all the gifts I had asked for: toys, clothes, shoes etc.
It was something I waited for all year long. I LOVE CHRISTMAS, the whole holiday season. The lights, the decorations, the music, the movies, the festivals and the spirit in the air!!
And as a child, I could NOT WAIT for those presents on Christmas morning!!!
Some called me a spoiled brat. AND maybe I was…..
The Christmas after my 18th birthday, I remember being so upset that my mom didn’t buy me what I wanted. I am pretty sure I asked for a Video Camera. I was angry, it turned into a huge fight. My mom was so upset…..
MAYBE I WAS THAT AWFUL?
It opened my eyes… I really had to evaluate my feelings.
Could I be spoiled rotten? Did material things really matter that much to me?
I thought about this for a long time… and then I realized what it was.
I had learned that my mother showed her love by showering you with gifts, not mushy sentiments or hugs and kisses.
So what happened when the gifts were gone? The little girl inside me, felt like she didn’t love me anymore…
>>>> Fast forward to my life as a Parent. >>>>>>
Did I mention my husband also LOVES CHRISTMAS. The entire Holiday season. The man practically threatens to divorce me if I don’t bake cookies on a regular basis starting November 1st. Even his morning, the kids and I are off for Veteran’s day. He’s heading out the door for work and says, “I expect to see this house filled with Christmas when I get home! ” Dude, its November 11th! Mind you, he already starting hanging up the new decor. Luckily the rest of the decorations are upstairs in our closet and I told him he has to bring them down, that will buy me sometime. But I get it, I also love the Christmas season and wish it would last longer. Being an adult, I feel like time flies so fast- we will wake up tomorrow and it will be Christmas morning and then the magic fades away- back to reality….and NEw YEar’s resolutions!
And yes, we both LOVE buying presents for our kids. However, I have spent a lot of time evaluating this behavior as well. I love surprises! I love gift wrap! I love giving people things and seeing their eyes light up when its something they wanted! We have also taught our children to be grateful for everything they have and everything they get. We spend the entire year telling them “NO’. This year, we have gone to a TON of musicals/plays and yes, recently bought Disneyland passes- but those are for experiences and memories. We just bought a house, so they each got their own room and a pool, that is present enough! But they don’t get “Things” throughout the year. Of course they get new school clothes and backpacks during the summer before school starts. And if nothing fits, we go buy some clothes. But toys/electronics,etc come mostly on Christmas and a few on their birthdays. Let’s not forget, the Easter basket filled with random spring things, bubbles, balls and candy- the occasional movie or game. Keep in mind, my mom is still in the picture- now as GRANDMA an
d her present giving hasn’t diminished. As an adult, I don’t care what she gives me. My priorities are different now and I know she loves me, I shut that little girl up a long time ago 🙂 But she still spoils the kids, its her thing- Let her do what makes her happy. She gets the speech the entire year from me, “Mom stop stressing, they don’t NEED anything, they will be happy with whatever you give them.”
SO yes, our children get A LOT of Christmas gifts. A lot of them, are definitely things they don’t NEED, but are useful. Yes, Last year, the big kids got LAPTOPS. But do you know how helpful those have been this year for school (Did I mention they are in 7th grade in dual immersion?). They also get clothes, shoes, backpacks, lunch bags, a new bed set, socks, underwear, books, and board games. This year the girls are getting diffusers to use their own oils! Grandma brings them gifts, because they are easy to shop for and they love and appreciate everything. Those pics of my kids smiling with their gifts aren’t staged, they really ARE stoked when they receive stuff, even SOCKS!!
So please don’t judge us, and tell us were raising spoiled brats. They are also taught how hard Mom and Dad work to get everything they have. They are also told “NO” a lot. My big kids do not have Cell phones and I told them not to get their hopes up. They most likely will get a small TV for their rooms, but this year we are planning to get them tickets to concerts and musicals and make lots of memories.
Starting Saturday.. we go see THE GRINCH!! So Happy Holidays everyone, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Yule, Happy Kwanzaa and anything else I left out. Share the holiday season and spirit with anyone and everyone in anyway you wish. Just make sure to spread the love in more than just gifts! Let’s make some memories!