Wednesday, December 16, 2015

How Many Gifts To Give....

Happy Wednesday Ladies!
 
Hope you are all having a great week!  I cannot even believe Christmas is next week!  I just started my holiday shopping like a week ago, and I still have a few things I need to get before I am done!  Definitely kicking myself a bit for waiting so long this year!
 
I don't know about you guys, but every single year I stress about "do I have enough under the tree".  I tend to overbuy...I love seeing a ton of presents under the tree..it just makes me happy.  Often I have found myself buying things they weren't even asking for just to have "more" under the tree.  A light bulb went off when Brooke and Harrison were younger...they had so many gifts to open Christmas morning, they were overwhelmed..they were tearing the wrapping back just enough to see what it was, tossing it to the side, and moving on to the next.  It was at that moment I realized I was doing way too much...they didn't even appreciate what they were getting!  I stopped buying them random things, but I found myself most times buying them every item on their list, because I didn't want them to be disappointed!  Like I said...I tend to go overboard. 
 
As my kiddos have gotten older their lists aren't as long anymore, however the price tag is ENORMOUS!  Long gone are the days of $20 items...hello $200 earbuds!  I have always had all the gifts under the tree from Santa, we never gave our kids gifts, I never even gave it a second thought.  Then this year I read something on social media saying to be mindful of what we mark from Santa, so when kids go back to school no child's feelings are hurt when one child is telling about all the awesome, expensive toys they got, while another child maybe only got a winter coat and a few small items they "needed" not wanted.  I never thought about that...however a few days later I could relate...but in a different way.  Olivia was talking to Buddy (our elf) saying how she had to have a new kitchen and all the accessories for her American Girl doll, and she really needed Santa to bring it because, in her exact words "Buddy no way are my parents spending like $250 on this stuff" ...well she was right about that...it wasn't happening!  I told Olivia I wasn't sure if Santa would be able to bring that to her, and she said "yes he can Mommy, he makes everything, he doesn't have to pay for it"....oh girl yes he does!!!  At that moment it hit me...I should have, years ago, just made a few gifts each year from Santa and the rest from Mommy & Daddy! 
 
The older kids get it, they know we are buying the gifts (AJ is still questionable...he is 12) so they ask for bigger ticket items of course, but within reason.  It is hard when they still believe in Santa and think they can have 425 gifts!  Mark and I talked about it, so we sat down with the kids and told them that we spoke with Santa (because duh all parents have his number) and since they are so many children all over the world this year that need gifts, he will only be able to bring them 3 gifts, and he asked if the moms and dads would help out and buy a few gifts too.  Olivia was a bit tiffed about this at first, but we explained to her how the wisemen brought baby Jesus 3 gifts, and she seemed fine with it....parent win! 
 
I was really happy with the decision we made to cut back a bit this year, my kids have so much, they are so fortunate...and I really want them to understand that as wonderful as it is to wake up Christmas morning with a thousand gifts, the true, real meaning of Christmas is just so much more. 
 
This year, I decided on a budget...and stuck to it...that has NEVER happened.  For years I was always so worried making sure each kid had the same number of packages to open...it just added so much stress to the holiday.  I will admit, at times I get a bit sad to think there will not be as much "stuff" under the tree this year, but I quickly get over it.  I realize going into debt for Christmas gifts is just plain stupid, and I know the kids are really going to love what they are getting...it may be less under the tree, but they are getting what they have asked for!  Quality over quantity...I'm so glad that is happening over here!
 
This past year has been full of ups and downs for me, our family has gone through a lot this year, and a lot of change has happened for all of us.  Some days were really hard, but I have learned so much this year, and I am truly understanding what it is to just be content with what I have.  I've learned that people are going to like me, or not like me for that matter, for who I am, NOT what I have.  And this is something I am really instilling into my children.  I was not looking forward to the holidays this year at all....being away from family, not having Harrison here with us..I was hating it all.  But now, I am so excited for Christmas...I am happy and at peace with myself, and my life where it is right now.
 
So what about you guys....I would love to hear how many gifts are under your tree, are they all from Santa, are they wrapped or unwrapped under the tree....I always love hearing what everyone else does!
 
Hope you all have a great day!


26 comments:

  1. I can't agree with you more!! I think I've realized now too how experiences and time together almost out weigh material items as well! Instead of buying my Dad a bunch of junk he doesn't really need I'm going to spend time with him and do an activity together!

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    1. And I bet your dad would love hat much more than any gift you could buy him! Have a great day!

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  2. Great post! I will admit to being an over buyer for Christmas. I come by it honestly, as Christmas was big in my house growing up and also my husbands. Also, my husband is in sales and the budget just works out better at the end of the year so we're able to do a big Christmas. That said, my kids are only allowed to ask for 3 things from Santa and surprises. Also, Santa is not allowed to bring something the parents don't agree to. So last year, my 5 year old asked for video games and we told him Santa wouldn't bring it because mommy and daddy don't allow video games here yet. We talk a TON about greed at Christmas time and how to ask for reasonable things that they'll really use. And so far we've avoided pricey asks- well except Legos ;)

    The biggest issue we had with Christmas when we had kids was the "Mom and Dad" gifts and the wrapping. In my family, Santa brought everything. I had honestly never heard of ANY mom and dad giving their kids gifts at Christmas! Additionally, in my husband's family Santa set all the gifts out set up and unwrapped! Whoa! Everything at my house was wrapped and I was not on board with anything different. Well, like most things in marriage we compromised. We don't get our kids any gifts- everything is from Santa. But about half are set up and set out ready to go on Christmas morning. I still don't love that, but I do understand why setting up a kitchen or a big play set is better than having to do it on Christmas morning.

    You made some really great points in this post Kimm! Hope this Christmas is one of peace and happiness for you- I know it will be so different, so praying that peace for you!

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    1. I know lots of people that don't wrap some gifts. Growing up ours were always wrapped so that's all I ever knew. Love how if you and your husband don't agree to it Santa can't bring it. That's so awesome! Thanks for sharing

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  3. We have cut back a lot on what we spend for our whole family for several years now. I honestly don't think my kids even notice. Of course, they're all teenagers and one in his twenties so that be why. But even when they were around 10 they never made a big deal if they didn't get everything they asked for. We typically do 1 more expensive item (up to $100) and if they don't ask for something that equals that we get a few other gifts they want to match close to that price. My struggle is when to stop doing stockings. I'm thinking 18 years old. But it seems strange to do 1 stocking in the house if all the others are older than 18!

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    1. Stockings can add up quick. We still do them for all 5 of the kids, but I fill them with mainly treats and thing a they need like deodorant, shower gel, stuff like that! Have a great day!

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  4. We have 4 kiddos and stick to around 4 gifts each. I spend very close to the same amount on each child. I want presents to be a fun part of the Christmas season, but I don't want it to become all of it.

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    1. I couldn't agree more. Thanks for taking the time to comment. Have a great day

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  5. We also have Santa bring three gifts. I figured if it was enough for baby Jesus, it's enough for us too. They may get a present or two from us as well. I have four kids and we have them draw each other's names and they will go shopping for that sibling only. They talk about that all year long! And Santa doesn't wrap at our house. I love reading about everyone's different traditions

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    1. That's a great idea do the siblings! Thanks for stopping by today!

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  6. Whatever is the most difficult item to wrap is from Santa! :) Presents from us are wrapped, Santa gifts are not. I totally realized I overbought some years back...I was just done with a divorce and struggling with guilt. My son actually asked his Grandmother and I if he could stop unwrapping because he was tired!! Lesson learned.
    Lisa G., McKinney, TX

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    1. You know it's bad when the kids ask to stop! Ha! Have a great day!

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  7. Oh my goodness Kim I can so relate to this! Do you know how many times I have found myself out and about a day or two before Christmas because I was worried we didn't have enough under the tree, or because the two kids didn't have an equal amount of presents?! I wasted sooo much money. It especially hurt a few months after Christmas when we were taking it all to the thrift store when we did our spring cleaning :( I got over that way of thinking a couple years ago!

    There is a blog I love to read http://dixiedelightsonline.com/2015/11/4-gifts-a-letter-to-santa.html and she has a great idea on how to do gifts- something to wear, read, do and something that they want. Easy enough!

    Here's how we do Santa, he brings the kids 1 gift and it is unwrapped next to the tree. It is never the "big" thing that the kids ask for either, that comes from mom and dad! I have yet to buy one thing for my 16 year old son. He can't think of anything (reasonable!) that he wants. I'm not sure how I feel about that. He is either a very content young man OR he has too many things! I hope you all have a Merry Merry Christmas!!

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    1. Merry Christmas to you and your family!!

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  8. I always tell my mom she can keep all the gifts and instead do something as a family. That would mean so much more to me and i'd remember it longer, but she loves Christmas too much to not get someone something. Haha! I'm just grateful for anything :) No matter what, your kiddos will love their Christmas because well, it's Christmas!

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    1. Hi Molly! I agree...presents are such a great part of Christmas, I am just wanting my children to really understand it's so much more than what is under the tree. thanks for taking the time to comment today!

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  9. I think that especially in this day of social media, gift buying an get way out of hand! I still find myself counting gifts to make sure everyone has the same amount and I will admit this year I went a tad overboard! I'm not proud of it and it is what it is. But I saw on someone's blog about the Want Need Read or something to that effect. I liked that idea and maybe doing that next year. It's crazy how the need to buy buy buy is always so strong this time of year. And I don't even have small kids! They're all adults!

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    1. Buying for others is so fun...but this year I am so proud of myself for sticking to a budget and not letting my guilt get the better of me or my checkbook;). Have a great day my friend !

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    2. You are doing a great job! Like I said, its too easy to get all caught up in the social media world, although I love that by following a few blogs, I have made several "friends"!! You being one of them! Merry Christmas!!!

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  10. We do 4 gifts- something I want, something I need, something to wear and something to read.

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    1. I absolutely LOVE this idea! I may do this next year. Thank you for sharing! Merry Christmas !!!

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    2. this was the 4 things! I definitely want to do this next year!!!

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  11. aye aye aye...you shared your birthday present with us readers which was a purse costing over $1K and NOW you are saying you watch what you spend!? Yikes, I'm hoping you got yore reality check early....

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    1. Hi Jenny! Yes I do have two Louis Vuitton purses that were very expensive! And yes I do have some nice, higher priced items, and even with both my husband and I, and our children having nice things we can still watch what we spend. Like I always say, to each his own. People always have an opinion....and I respect them all. Thanks for taking the time to comment

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  12. Hi Kimm! My daughter is also in this Shopkins obsession. Did you know Season 4 just came out? I just saw them today! I'm in Nebraska so i don't know maybe they were already out in Florida. Merry Christmas!

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    1. Hi kelly. I didn't know season 4 was out...thanks for the heads up....I'm also thanking you in advance from Olivia ;). Merry Christmas !!!

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