I see a lot of buzz on a couple online baby boards of moms with kids my age asking how many presents they are going to get their kids...which brought up some interesting thoughts.

I think a lot of Christmas gift giving and traditions come from how you were raised. Chikezie has told me before he and his brother/sisters didn't get many presents when they were younger. One or two each from their parents because they didn't have a lot of money. Until I was 11 I was an only child and I got probably 3 gifts from my parents (usually an outfit or two split into different boxes so I'd have more to open) and then I'd get one bigger gift from Santa (Cabbage Patch Doll, Kitchen Set, etc.). 

For the boys I don't really plan on giving them tons of presents. For some reason I just don't feel comfortable buying them tons of toys. They don't play with half the ones they have now. They'd much rather play with bowls in the cupboard or a cardboard box left out. And at this age they're too young to even care, which is why most of the gift opening will be done at grandma and grandpa's house when we're home for the holidays. 

I see lots of moms posting on these boards naming off stuff like this:

"so far I've bought my LO about 5 big ones and about 15 or so little ones.  I know I'm spoiling him like crazy but this is giving me an excuse to buy all of the things I've wanted to buy him all along but haven't becaue I try not to spoil him too bad.  I've given up on that just for christmas and he's going to get spoiled rotten!!!  I love it!!!"
 "DH and I are on the same boat w/ LO. I have 2 step-daughters who get 10-15 gifts each..."
"Three outfits, two extra pairs of pants, and three toys so far, plus a pair of pajamas and three or four books. I am considering one or two other toys as well, but I dunno. "

Is it just me or does this seem like a lot??  10-15 gifts EACH? I get that some people just have tons of money to spend but I feel like it's just not about the money. In the 5 years Chikezie and I have been together we get each other like one small thing or just DO something together.  I guess I'm just kind of annoyed by how much Christmas has turned into GIFTS.  

What happened to family and love? What happend to celebrating the REAL reason we even have Christmas?  I remember it used to be the youngest kids' job in our family to but Baby Jesus in the manger on Christmas day and it was such a huge deal. We sang Christmas carols around my Grandma's piano and ate all day. We played card games late into the night and laughed harder than we'd laughed all year. 

I want my boys to look forward to the excitement of being with family over Christmas rather than how many presents they're getting. I know it's natural for all kids but man I had so much joy and excitement in the gifts I made myself to give everyone and to see their faces when they opened it rather than getting what I wanted.

So as this holiday season begins, let's not forget the less material aspects of this season and the gifts of love, hope and family that will last far longer than that "must have toy" that your kids will be tired of in a month.  


  1. I don't have kids yet, but we NEVER got that many gifts growing up and I don't plan to get my future children that many either. I totally agree with you about losing focus of the reason we're celebrating Christmas to begin with...it's definitely not to get more stuff! Thanks for sharing!

  2. I have a little bit of a different outlook on this than you. I DO agree that gifts are NOT the reason for the season and I really want Drake to know all about the REAL meaning behind Christmas.

    However, I will admit to buying Drake quite a few Christmas presents. I know he does not get it, but I think it is fun. I know he does not need the stuff. But I also know that I bought some of his presents second hand and got a hell of a good deal on some of his other presents. I LIKE giving and seeing people's faces when they open the gifts. To me it is not at all about spoiling Drake with the biggest or best gifts, but just having fun with it all.

    Please don't think I'm being at all snarky in this response, just another point of view.

  3. Oh Katie I don't think this is snarky at all! I totally understand loving giving gifts. I LOVE buying stuff for the boys. I love watching them play with something I picked out, happy that they like what I got.

    I guess 10-15 gifts just seems like a lot to me, but to some other ppl it's normal. I didn't mean to make it sound like everyone forgets about Christmas because of the gifts I was just trying to point out that Christmas will be just as good without that many as well.

    And a little reminder after this black friday (where I've seen people get truckloads of gifts) that even if you can't afford that much your kids can still have good memories of Christmas.

  4. and that I was never the kid with the cool new toy or stylish outfit because my parent's didn't have a lot of money and after they had the triplets it was even less money and more kids to buy for (not to mention their birthdays are on Dec 27th).

  5. I agree with you! My in-laws are all about how much they can spend and never about the thought of one special gift. We are never surprised because they make us pick out our own stuff. I wasn't raised that way. I made a list every year but only got a handful of things on it - and they were never "big" toys. Just barbies or fuzzy slippers. Did you see my Black Friday post? That was all on my MIL and Bobby's grandmother's tab. They are nuts! I like to help because I love organizing their chaos. haha.
    I got Jack one thing to open for OUR Christmas morning and some Toy Story band-aids for his stocking. That's it! Bobby and I stopped exchanging for christmas years ago. We just enjoy the holiday and not the stress of credit card debt. Molly is too little to even understand what's going on and she doesn't need or want for anything either because she loves all Jack's old toys - so she may "help" Jack open his. I don't feel guilty about it because like you said...it isn't about the presents. He'll get plenty of that anyway at his grandparents' house this year.

  6. 10 - 15 Gifts is way out there for us. Yes we did get a lot of gifts as kids but most of it was clothes (things we needed for school etc) and som small knick knacks and one big gift from Santa. I am not going to lie Sae is going to get spoiled this year but it's not by me. We currently live with family (7 adults) so yeah one present per person is a lot.

    Personally I am looking in the future, I want to get her blocks and a learning toy. The hubs is working on her big gift (a Thomas the train set/table) and that's about it other than books and clothes (for next year). Keeping it simple, if I counted every single present it may seem like a lot but in all honesty it's not.

    another thing, I have to keep talking my parents down from going crazy, they are trying to buy everything that comes to mind, and while it may look nice under the tree in actuality Sae may play with it like ONCE. I do not need to be over cluttered in my small room. We are already dropping a lot of her toys at the toy drive and shelters this year that she doesn't use anymore. I actually told my brother to get her a big brown BOX. Now that's a toy worth giving!

  7. I would agree with you about Black Friday. I really think some people take it WAY to far :)

  8. I so agree with you. Leyton is 6 months and everyone keeps asking me what I'm getting him and if I'm so excited about Christmas with him. This year....he's not even going to understand what is happening. I can't wait to see how he likes the tree lights. I can't wait to take him for a walk down the street when all the outdoor lights. I can't wait to have his photo taken with Santa. What I can wait on is buying him 15 trillion gifts. It's more about spending time with him.

  9. Your kids are so adorable! I love these photos you've posted. I totally agree about people going overboard with Christmas gifts. And I agree about the kids not playing with half of what they already have. Seriously, we've got enough "stuff".

    Oh, I sound like such a bah-humbug. I just want to give my girls stuff that they want or need, not stuff to just give them stuff.

  10. Last year we got Graham nothing -- no santa -- no gifts from his parents. He got stuff from grandparents and aunts, and that was MORE than enough.

    This year we have bought about 5 things... but now he actually plays with toys.