Monday, December 3, 2012

Christmas Revelations

This year, I'm really struggling with what to give my kids for Christmas. In prior years, I had no problem with getting them gifts. However, I've come to the realization that we don't need anything. My kids do not need the hottest toy that will eventually gather dust in their closets or the latest video game that will soon be sold back to GameStop. They are always appreciative of what they receive. But over time, the item that they just had to have will sooner than later find a home in the Goodwill pile. Do we really need more stuff?

Now before you write me off as being a Scrooge, hear me out. Because my primary love language is gift giving, I stress out over if they are getting enough presents. I try to stretch my dollars so that they feel like they had a full Christmas. Yet after much evaluation, the boys have Christmas at our house, then onto my side of the family, then round 3 at my in-law's house. That is 3 Christmas celebrations in one day! Do I need to wear the weight of providing a Christmas palooza when they are getting that at 2 other houses and then some?

Maybe instead of filling our tree with gifts, we should use that money toward taking them somewhere. I would rather give the kids a memorable experience than more stuff. Are the kids mature enough to process that as a gift or will they feel slighted? I'm not sure how to proceed. Someone please chime in.

On a side note, I'm learning to loosen the reins when it comes to Christmas decor. After 11 years of being a control freak and putting up the decor by myself, this is the first year that the whole family decorated the tree. This is also the first year that I've allowed the train set to be set up under the tree even if it doesn't go with the look of my tree. It still looks amazing. WHAT IS HAPPENING TO ME?


  1. Good stuff is happening to you! You are giving up the "illusion" of control! That's all we ever really have, anyway--it's an illusion.

    Your house looks fantastic, and the boys are in for a treat! You are wise.

    1. Thanks for the reassuring words, Kelly!

  2. Hi Linaya! When we were a bit older, my parents did a trip one year for the whole family (Disneyland) instead of Christmas gifts! it was such a fun experience! At their age I'm not sure how'd they'd process that (I'm by no means an expert!) but it might be a good idea for down the road when they're a bit older and able to "get it" a bit more?... great post! :)

  3. Absolutely love it!!! I am actually at a very similar place! And Kelly makes a good point, it's only an "illusion of control" anyways. I always wanted the tree to have a beautiful matching theme. This year I let Caleb put on ornaments (they are all in one spot on the tree... five of the same ornaments touching and then a Michigan football player... it took everything in me to leave it, but I had that small whisper that said... THIS is what matters... He needs to know he did a great job and mommy doesn't have to "fix" his work. It's perfect!). I also hung the (what I used to consider hideous and corny) nativity ornaments I have in the kitchen and he loves looking at baby Jesus there. Anyways, all that to say... I think we're on the right track. I'm not trying to "keep up with the Jones'" anymore or prove I have style in my Christmas decor. And ditto on the gifts... we have no plans to shower them with gifts and set up that expectation. We are going to Florida to be with family for Christmas and plan on spending any extra money doing memorable things there. Thanks for sharing (sorry for my long response.:)