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Spoiled rotten

I don’t want spoiled children. Ones that expect big gifts from everyone, don’t remember or care who they came from, and ask why there aren’t more gifts for them to open. Birthdays. Christmas. Whatever the gift giving/receiving occasion is, it’s hard to teach kids to be thankful and appreciate what they receive.

It’s also hard not to spoil them by always giving in and buying them lots of things. The look on their face when they open those gifts, it fills your heart with such joy! You have made them that happy. But how much is too much? We didn’t want to over do it this Christmas with the kids. Our son is 2, and we are working very hard on the whole Christ part of Christmas (he goes to church every single weekend, so he does understand a bit of it), and our daughter, well she’ll be 3 months soon, so she’s just a cute little lump that smiles at your silly faces.  We know both kids will be spoiled by grandparents and aunts and uncles (they have lots that all live close by) so we didn’t want to go overboard with toys from us. However, today I was wrapping the gifts for the kids, and it just didn’t seem like enough. My husband had mentioned the other night that he thought we should get them more, and I shot the idea down. But now? Now, I am second guessing it. Our son is very smart for the young age he is, and he will remember who bought him what toy, and I would like a lot of those to be from us, his parents.

How do you decided how much to spend on your kids? Does the amount increase as they get older and ask for smartphones instead of Tonka trucks? Do you take into consideration what gifts they will be getting from others? Do you want the big gifts to come from you (or St. Nick) , or is it ok to let grandparents buy them a bigger gift?

We obviously have a budget (everyone should!) for Christmas. But just because it is a “budget” doesn’t mean it is a miniscule amount. We celebrate Christmas in a big way, and hopefully our kids grow up to understand the true meaning of Christmas and appreciate the gift giving and receiving portion of it too.

Man, parenting is hard.

  1. Moe I believe you can't spoil a child at Christmas, yes you can the rest of the year if you are always buying them everylittle thing they ask for which you don't. Christmas is a joyous time of the year and watching the joy on their faces is a very big part of it. As their grandmother I will spoil them the rest of the years
  2. We're struggling with the same thing this year with our two boys. I don't want gifts to be the focus of the holiday because there is so much more. We settled on one quality gift from us to each boy and another one from each of the boys to the other then of course the stocking and santa gifts. I like the one gift rule since when you think of it, relatives usually give one larger gift or a few smaller gifts packaged together. I don't want it to be too overwhelming since I also want our 3 yr old to acknowledge each gift and show gratitude (tall order I know). This year our older son will helping unwrap all the 7 month olds gifts too so double the unwrapping fun :)
    • At first, I wasn't going to wrap our daughters gifts, she'll be almost 3 months, I thought it would be a waste of paper, but than I realized my son would love to unwrap them and show her the stuff. He'll be just as excited over that part as getting his own gifts. It is hard to teach them Christmas is about more than just presents when they are this young, but I also think it is never too early to introduce new ideas to them and family traditions. Even if they don't fully understand what is going on, it's still good to expose them to it. Like donating food and clothing, we usually just quickly drop stuff off when we do this all year, but when we did it a few weeks ago I tried to explain what Daddy was doing with the box off food and winter coats, two years old and his response was "ok mommy, babies are cold and hungry". So maybe he does get it a little...
  3. My husband and I have decided to give our boys 3 gifts each and the stocking. We want to raise them that while yes, you get Christmas presents, Christmas is much more than that. Its family, and tradition, and Jesus.
  4. I look at things this way: I was spoiled like crazy as a kid. While I didn't get the Barbie Power Wheels I always wanted, I did get a lot of other toys/barbies/EZ-Bake ovens etc... and I turned out OK! I think you can give your kids a lot of gifts and have them turn out to be caring and appreciative individuals - Don't stress too much about it.

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