Posts Tagged ‘gift giving’

Stress Free Holiday Season – Lessons from the Past

Wednesday, December 17th, 2008

I have purchased tons of presents for my kids.  This isn’t anything new since I have been doing that since my daughter Jessica (who is 18) was born.  I love shopping for my kids.  If I need anything, I am pretty cheap on myself, but I splurge on my kids.  Don’t most mothers do that anyways???

Lessons from Splurging on the Kids:

  1. They get spoiled… take it from me. My daughter Jessica use to be spoiled since she was my only child for 13 years prior to having my son Blake.  I would buy her anything.  That is when I kind of stopped the spoiling.  It was tough on Jessica.  She never realized how spoiled she was as a kid.  Once she has gotten over the disappointment, they move on.  It doesn’t mean that Jessica doesn’t feel disappointed anymore, but she definitely doesn’t feel spoiled.  The greatest part of not spoiling your kids is that they become more responsible and consciously aware adults.  (Which is what has happened to Jessica).
  2. They expect it… yes, the kids will expect the same amount of gifts, if not more since you set the precidence of how many gifts they get.  If you are feeling the recession with the loss of income or lower wages, the kids don’t understand why Santa is not as generous as he was last year.  If the kids aren’t expecting an elaborate Christmas, then they will appreciate what they get from Santa.  Appreciation is the best skill for any child to learn.
  3. They feel disappointment… it is disappointing if Santa is not keeping up with the “Jones”.  My son Blake is already asking for everything for Christmas.  He doesn’t have a clear idea what he wants.  Everyday he will say I want this toy or that toy… He comes home from school with another idea of what he thinks he wants.  If I would buy all those toys he is asking for, he would not play with them.  Last year is a perfect example, he wanted a Spiderman, a dinosaur, and several other toys. He received all of them.  He didn’t even play with any of them.  It is about the wanting instead of the receiving. 

So here are my new rules for Christmas season (Low Stress Christmas):

  1. Kids went through their toys and gave away 3 bags of toys that they didn’t want or need. These are great toys that were hardly used.  My little kids are only 5 and 3 years old, but they didn’t have strong attachments to these material items.  I explained to them that we are going to give these toys to kids that do not have any toys.  They were excited about helping others.  Kids are natural givers… let them express it. 
  2. Include the kids in all aspects of Christmas planning.  The kids cleaned up the house, picked out the tree, decorated the tree, put up decorations around the house (all with the assistance of mom and dad, of course).  My kids love to cook. They will be making the cookies with me.  I let them wash the dishes too.  It would be easier for me to do it all myself, but the memories that are made are worth more than rushing through the kitchen.
  3. Santa is only bringing 1 gift.  Each kid will get 3 gifts this year.  One from Santa, two from mom and dad.  I use to wrap all their clothes including socks.  The meaning of Christmas is not about all the gifts around the tree.  The kids will still be getting other presents from other people so there is no lack of presents there.  Santa only distributes one special toy per child.  If Santa is dishing out tons of presents to my kids and none to others, it send the wrong message.  If a child learns at a young age that Christmas is about giving and sharing, then they will not go through the spoiling, expecting, or disappointment that most of us go through.

So for those presents I bought for my kids, I am just giving the clothes to my kids.  For excess toys I may have bought, I am giving them to the Toy Drives.  This year will be the start of a Spoil Free, Giving and Sharing Stress Free Christmas filled with lots of laughter, joy and memories.

Happy Holidays!

Layla


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