Do you guys ever struggle with how much to give your children on Christmas? You know…how much “stuff” is enough? My girls are pretty good about picking just one main gift that they want the most, and then I add some fun filler items to round it out. But this year we seem to have gone way overboard without meaning to.
In my defense, I didn’t go out the week before Christmas and blow a thousand bucks on gifts in a shopping frenzy. With couponing, I grab great deals all year long and sock them away in the downstairs coat closet. Online deals, clearance deals, yard sales, thrift stores…I take advantage of them as I find them and apparently I’m really good at it, because, holy cow you guys..I didn’t realize how much stuff I had set aside already this year.
Without meaning to at all, that coat closet filled up with bag after bag after bag of stuff. Granted, I paid a fraction of the retail value and did this over a course of 12 months, but still… And truthfully, I liked having a tree surrounded by a mound of gifts. There were a lot of years here not too awfully long ago before Mark and I got together that Christmas was an extremely difficult event for me to pull off. The girls and I lived in public housing and due to Hal being the way she is…if the girls were on school vacation, I was home from work..unpaid. So no paycheck for 2 weeks, toys to buy, rent to pay the following week on January 1, groceries..it makes my stomach clench even now remembering the feeling of just barely getting by. No parent likes the feeling that they can’t do enough for their children at Christmas. I was grateful that they were young enough then not to notice or care that the gifts that they did get were used or from a dollar store.
Fast forward a bit and here we are today. With too much stuff. And while I’m grateful that I can provide it for them and that they had such a great Christmas, maybe a bit more of next year’s haul will go to charities (this year we donated to Salvation Army and Toys for Tots) and I’ll pay more attention to gifts that mean something instead of filling space with “stuff” that will remain unopened on my living room floor 4 days after Christmas. (insert the sound of my children screeching in protest here)