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Christmas Shopping and Spoilage

Every year Christmas shopping is a struggle for me. How much is too much to buy for my kids? I want them to have a head-popping, full-of-excitement Christmas morning, but I want to get them few enough things that they actually appreciate all of them. I also don’t want to feel like I need to escalate each year to make it even MORE exciting than the year before.

I always start out really slow. The intent is that they’ll get one thing from the fat man plus whatever’s in their stockings. Then Dan and I will get them one thing. We figure with the outpouring of gifts from grandparents, aunts, and uncles, they’ll still be in gifts up to their eyeballs. So if we can reign ourselves in, it will lessen the spoiled rottenness threatening to overtake them each Christmas season.

So I always start slow, but I’m also a selfish person and I frequently see things and think, “They would love that so much and it would totally keep them occupied for hours. Think how happy they’d be AND how much work I’d get done while they were playing with it.” Then there’s the thought process of, “I always wanted that when I was little,” “If I don’t buy it this year she’ll have outgrown it,” or the one I stared right in the face yesterday, “It’s such a good DEAL! It’s too cheap to leave in the store.”

And now I think I’ve already overdone it again this year and it’s not even December 1st yet.

Christmas gift giving is supposed to be about love and kindness and a symbol of the gift of the God whose birthday we celebrate. But I find I lose sight of that in all the sales and shopping frenzies and obsession to find the perfect gift. In the end, will it change if I just outlaw all gifts and only make things by hand? I know that if I only made things by hand, I’d run out of time and they’d have to settle with fewer gifts. The gifts would also be made with love and probably minimal swearing, depending on how hard of a project I chose.

What are you ideas for curbing commercialism in your Christmas giving?

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