Can I vent about Christmas for a minute?
Recently, there was a post being shared on Facebook about Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis not giving their kids any Christmas gifts. You can read it here. People were seriously going nuts over how amazing this is, how great of parents they must be, how they are now going to do this in their homes, on and on. Now first I want to say that I have nothing again Ashton or Mila. After all, he is a local Iowa boy! The thing that bothers me the most about this is it almost associates that there is shame in buying your kids Christmas gifts.
Every year, there is that post that goes around about only buying your children four gifts each. Something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read. Again, am I suppose to feel bad about buying more than four gifts for my girls?
Now, here’s my parenting style. We do Christmas!
We spoil our girls at Christmas. My in-laws spoil our kids at Christmas. Other family members spoil them at Christmas.
I’m totally ok with this. It is one day out of 365 that I let me kids go for it. Rip open that package and then dive at the next one with just as much excitement. Live it up! I dread the day that excitement dies out. The day their Christmas lists consist of nothing but clothes and gift cards will come far too soon.
Now, I’m not saying that we buy them every single thing they say they want. That list is a loooooonnnggg one. Please don’t picture us walking down the toy aisles at Target and clearing the shelves. It’s simply not like that. We buy them more than four gifts, yes, but many of them are things like books, puzzles, building blocks, board games and clothes. This year our four-year old is getting a new bedding set as a Christmas gift. She is tired of her old one, but I wouldn’t just go out and buy her a new one for that reason so Santa is bringing one. We try to limit the random toys that will get played with for a couple of days and then forgotten in the bottom of the toy box.
I love to give gifts. I really do.
We gift to our nieces, nephews, my daycare kids, a couple of our cousin’s kids in a gift exchange, my in-laws, and grandparents. I love everything about gifting at the holidays. From making a list of people and what I think would make them happy to open. Then hunting that gift idea down and finding the lowest price (watch for a post on that later). I love wrapping them up in pretty, shiny paper and organizing them under the tree. Honestly, I just love to give a gift to someone and make them happy. We all need more happy!
It’s Christmas. Christmas is about giving.
I completely believe it’s possible to know that Christmas is for giving, AND also be excited about getting presents. Our girls don’t get stuff randomly throughout the year. They might have a want in the middle of the summer, but that stays a want until a birthday or holiday rolls around. Even then, it’s still not a guarantee that they receive that particular want. I like to think they understand that want doesn’t equal need, but I do admit that is a hard concept at 3 and 4 years old, but we try.
We also make it a point to donate to some friends of mine that shop for deserving families in our community every year, and we put together a couple of packages for children in foster care who have nothing to call their own. This year, since the girls are big enough, we will be ringing the bell for the Salvation Army in our county. Kids can receive and still learn to give.
So yes, we spoil our kids at Christmas.
We make a big deal of the whole holiday. It is my absolute favorite time of the year, and we live it up in all areas. We make a big deal of Santa and their wish lists, and visit the big guy a couple of times. We also make a big deal about Christmas cookies and baking, songs, books, picking out and decorating our tree, movies, Christmas cards, Rudolph, Frosty, crafts, candy canes, every little bit of Christmas. These are the traditions we carry from year to year.
All their excitement on Christmas morning is something I wouldn’t want to miss. The smiles and sparkle in their eyes in all the magic around them is the holiday season to me. I wait all year for that moment, and I carry it in my heart till the next year.
You can agree with this choice, or maybe you fall more on the Ashton and Mila side of things. Whatever your traditions are, make them what’s best for YOUR family. Focus on what has meaning to you. Do what makes you happy and spread the joy of the season.
Mostly, don’t let anyone else make you feel bad about celebrating this special time of year in a way that makes your family happy!