‘Tis the season for all things holiday: eggnog, fresh cut trees, carols, and presents. Lots and lots of presents. It feels like every Christmas season, the list of gifts to buy just grows bigger and bigger, especially once we had our first daughter, and I never really gave it a second thought… until now. I get it. It’s easy as a parent to get swept up in the holiday spirit and want to get your kids this, that and the other. How many times have I said, “Oh but Little Miss would just LOVE this!” And you won’t be the only one. Grandparents, thoughtful friends and other family members will also be getting your children things, because let’s face it, buying gifts for kids is a lot easier and far more fun than buying them for adults. And don’t forget the stocking stuffers. In the end all this equals a mountain of presents for your kids.
But as a 2.5-year old, does receiving a boatload of presents every holiday season send the wrong message, or is it just part of the fun? How much is too much during the holidays? I want her to grow up knowing that Christmas isn’t about making a list of all the things you want and expecting to get them, or opening present after present (and what exactly is the reason we exchange all these gifts, anyways?) So what’s the best compromise for wanting them to experience the magic of the holidays, presents and all, but not in excess? I’ve started thinking we should set a limited number of presents each child gets every year in addition to picking out some of their own toys to donate to those in need – does that make me a total Grinch? After all, isn’t the reason really more about giving than receiving?
What do you do to curb the excess for your kids during the holidays? And how much is too much?