In the society we live in, it is so hard not to BUY ALL THE THINGS! Every ad, commercial, FB post, etc. is telling us to buy, buy, buy. I have to admit that I have been dragged in and through the consumerism all too many times. Heck, you’ve seen my bio…I love to shop!!! Although, I am a huge fan of shopping, my husband and I decided not to go overboard this year. We decided a set range of money to spend on each kid ($50-$75 for the older two, $40-50 for the baby), on ourselves ($50 each), and on our family members (varies) and we are trying really hard to stick to it. After Christmas last year, I had some serious buyers remorse. We bought (when I say we, I mean I) so many things that our kids didn’t even need and hardly even played with after the first week. I’ve decided to donate or sell more things before Christmas this year and to buy less. My husband and I talked and we agreed that we don’t want our kids expecting a bunch of things every year.
This year I have made it a point to pull out our “Little People” nativity, walk through the story of Jesus’ birth with the kids and try to explain the true meaning of Christmas to them. I have expressed how the Wise Men brought presents for Jesus because they loved him and that we can give to others to show our love. My little 4 year old was so excited about this. Her cousins will be in town for Christmas this year and all she can talk about is making and giving presents to them. I think this is an important lesson to instill in our children, because seriously, how great does it feel to give something meaningful to someone else?! I think it feels awesome! My four year old has also been wanting to make and draw pictures for everyone to give as gifts and I love seeing how excited she is to give to others, and to see her face as she watches the faces of the ones she is giving to.
We will be giving presents and it’s probably still even more than they need, but I am feeling a lot better and less guilty. I literally bought a few things over the Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend and I’m planning on getting a few treats and a toothbrush for their stockings. If I don’t set the expectations too high, I don’t think they will expect a huge smorgesboard of gifts. Last year, my now two year old was one and all he wanted was the chocolate from the stocking. He couldn’t have cared less about the toys… total fail! They are getting older now, but I’m trying to get one or two fun things and then a couple useful things for them (pajamas, toothbrushes, socks, books, etc).
The moral of the story is that, although it is fun to receive ( I do love presents), it is more meaningful to give. On top of that, it’s important to give service and love all year long. Sometimes I think we get caught up in the Holiday season. It is so fun to see the giving spirit during the holiday season, but I think it should continue throughout the whole year! Giving and being kind all year are the lessons I am going to try to carry into the New Year.
Share your experiences below on how you’ve tried to keep the giving spirit all year and the ways you’ve kept it simple for Christmas!
Happy Holiday (Happy Always),