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Sunday, December 7, 2008

How much is too much?

This might seem petty to some, but this has been something that has been bothering me lately, and today it kind of came to a head. Currently, I'm a single mom (at least until my husband decides what he wants to do!) and things are tight around here. With Christmas coming up, I've been stressing over how I'm going to stretch the dollars and buy enough stuff for the kids. Now, this is part of the pettiness -- I *know* Christmas isn't about how many gifts a child gets, but c'mon -- how many children wouldn't be upset if they just saw 2 or 3 presents under the tree?

So anyway, I've purchased presents for the youngest 2 kids, and my oldest 2 are only getting one big present each, and that's it. Their big presents are expensive enough. I find out today that my one sister is buying her 3 kids 13 presents each (!) and my other sister (who is also a single mother and makes less than I do), is buying her daughter (an only child) 10 presents, including a lap top AND an Ipod touch.

This just makes me feel instantly crappy. I know that on Christmas day, all the cousins are going to get together and talk about what 'Santa' brought them, and I already feel bad for my kids, knowing they're going to say "I only got one present". They *do* get spoiled over my parents house, but shouldn't they be spoiled at home, too?

My oldest son knows there is no such thing as Santa, and he's okay with the present I'm buying him . I've told my middle son, who is 11, several times that Santa at our house is just going to bring him 1 or 2 things because of what he asked for and he seems okay with it.

I just want them to have a good Christmas and feel like they're loved..... I don't want them to be disappointed, and I think I'm stressing out extra this year because I'm alone, and I want them to have a 'normal' Christmas.


Gina said...

Christmas is about family, not material things. I still say you should take the older boys to a soup kitchen and feed the hungry, and show them that they should appreciate everything they get, big or small.

I'm blanking on any other advice right now LOL Sorry! DON'T STRESS!!!! even though I know that's not gonna keep you from stressing!

Bloggymommy said...

I think that every parent worries about this. We cannot afford much either so each year we get our kids a large, medium and small gift from Santa. And a large, medium and small gift from us. Now let me say that when I say 'large' I'm talking usually less than $40! And medium gifts are about $15. Small gifts are usually either under $5 or $10 or from the $ store!

It might be a lot to some but I think it's fine. It's not the amount of presents but the good time they have opening them and playing with them. And of course the family together time on Christmas day.

Don't worry about it. Some day they will know Santa doesn't really exist and understand.

I know you want them to have gifts like their cousins but they will be jealous of things their whole lives. So really you're doing them a favor. They are learning at a young age how to appreicate what they have! If you give them everything then they won't appreicate the little things.

Sarah said...

I think you are teaching a much better lesson to your children. If they are content with what they are getting then they haven't missed out on anything. And if you have taught them to be content in their circumstances then you've already given them the best gift ever!