With Christmas mere days away, the conversation around how much is too much for our kids on Christmas has come up with multiple close friends and new-mom acquaintances alike.
In our house, we haven’t had to focus on this too much as of yet. Our only child is 8 months old; he’ll be thrilled with little more than the wrapping paper and boxes discarded from everyone else’s gifts. However, I feel like I’ve already had the “conversation” with his grandparents on more than one occasion, even before he was born. Being the first and only grandchild on both sides, the guy is a just a smidge spoiled – which we are very much trying to avoid. We urged our parents to try to not go nuts, as hard as it may be, because there is literally nothing our son needs. There is nothing he wants besides food, necklaces to break off of necks, and things to shove in his face and gnaw on. If he made a Christmas list for Santa, it would be concise and quite simple: electrical cords, rubbery things (duckies, silicone teethers, Mom’s shoes, plungers, etc.), hard surfaces to repeatedly and endlessly smack, and the tag that is hanging off of [insert any item here]. That’s it… he’s pretty easy.
My husband and I both strongly hope to raise our son with a decidedly non-consumerist viewpoint of Christmas; this time is about family and quality time with people we love (oh, and cookies); not about pieces of plastic that will be worthless in 2 years.
We’re also realistic. Kids love toys. They love Christmas. They love the notion of being able to ask for a grandiose gift (or twenty) and often have them magically show up on Christmas Day. Hence, we think we’ve decided that once our little one is old enough to understand the concept of Christmas and Santa Claus, we’re going to tell him that Santa, being the busy guy he is, brings one very special gift to every child, so he gets to ask for one and only one thing he really wants. Something very special that has had a lot of thought put into all year. He can still ask for other things from family, but “Santa” will only bring one. Of course, some day he’ll ask why the heck his friend at school got 17 gifts from Santa when he only got one, but I digress. We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it. We know it may not work, but we’re really hoping that we can get the message instilled early that the “things” aren’t what matters. It’s the music, the lights, the memories we make with our loved ones… and the cookies.
Tell us: did you keep it simple, or go all out this year?