Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Why we don't make Christmas lists.

In the past few weeks, at least half or more of the blogs I LOVE to follow have posted Christmas lists for their children.  

You can find some of these Christmas lists here:

The Kavanaugh Report
Growing Up Geeky
The Froggy and the Mouse
Olive Juice Box
Boys in the Northwoods
...and the list goes on and on.

While I absolutely respect and admire all of these ladies for their amazing blogs and love to join their link ups- I just can't get in on a Christmas list link up.

8 months pregnant with little man two years ago
DH & I have discussed several times trying to limit the amount of gifts given at holidays in our home, due to many factors, some of which being the history of gift-giving in our family life.

My parents are really, really hardworking people who put their children's needs above their own in many circumstances, the holidays included.  When my sister and I woke on Christmas morning, there were literally couches, sofas, and floors filled with gifts.  There were so many gifts that often it would take hours to open them all.  

I love my parents so deeply and appreciate everything they tried to do for my sister and I, and everything they gave and continually give to us.

But, for us, Christmas is going to be a little different.  

DH & I have discussed a gift limit, as it were.  What we'd love to have happen, is that one person or family gets one gift for each person.  One thing.  So it doesn't get crazy.  For example:  DH & I will give little man one gift.  My parents will give little man one gift.  My IL's will give little man one gift.  My sister and SIL/BIL will give little man one gift.  That way, he receives a gift from each part of his family, but it doesn't go so crazy overboard.  If you calculated, at the end, he still comes out with 5 gifts.  I think 5 new toys for a toddler is MORE than sufficient!  

As little man and little lady grow a bit, they will be able to help pick out one special gift for each family member in return.  I think it will help them value the thought and effort (well, when they're older) that goes into choosing a gift for someone else.  I want to teach them that giving someone a gift is special, appreciated, and thoughtful.  That way, we also aren't wasting hard-earned money on just giving "stuff" that our family won't use or appreciate.  

I know that this path will get harder and harder to tread as our children grow older.  However, I also know that as our children get older and we add more children to the family, the number of gifts given at a holiday will also increase.  And, if each child learns that their gifts are also to be shared with siblings, we are teaching them another lesson in and of itself.

If family members ask what we'd like for little man (or little lady) for Christmas or birthdays, we will definitely be open to discussing one small, appropriate gift, especially when we are asking if there is anything they'd like for their gift.  But a full list of items posted on my blog reduces the human factor of the holidays.  It cuts out just one more conversation we'd get to have with those family members who we don't always connect with as much as we'd like.  And- to be honest- I'd much rather have the conversation than the gift in most circumstances anyway!

Hopefully, we'll be able to continue to reign in our families on not over-buying for the holidays (I love you, mom!) for years to come.  But, for now, this system seems to be working really well for our family.

How do you keep crazy overspending from happening during the holidays?  Do you feel overwhelmed at times with the number of toys your child receives?

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  1. I like your post. It poses an interesting dilema. Maybe you can ask for donations to your favorite charity so that you don't get to many gifts? Just a thought? We tend to over spend in our family, and I have thought about a donation as being an options. Let us know how it goes!

  2. Thanks for the link!

    I would love a gift limit but, as long as these kids have grandparents, that's just not going to happen. It's hard for us to set a gift limit, spend Christmas with my parents and have them get the kids a ton of stuff.

  3. First of all! You look amazing!!
    Second of all, I could not agree with this post more!We are working very hard to have a limit for our daughter as well. I grew up with my Mom giving way too many gifts and it took hours to open them! I loved it but really didn't appreciate it the way that you should. I got very spoiled to getting too many gifts and I don't want Sydney to be that way. So the limit is an amazing idea!
    Another thing we do is before each holiday that we know she will receive presents we go through her toys and she gets to choose what to donate to little boys and girls that need them. She has always done really good with this and I think that it teaches her that she can't just let it all build up. You have to give a little to get a little. :-)


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