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.