Monday, November 30, 2015

Why we don't do "The 4 Things" at Christmas in our House

So, I've been seeing this type of image go around on Facebook for the last few years and I got inspired to respond tonight.

We don't do the 3 or 4 thing rule at our house at Christmastime and that's OKAY. Its also okay if you do it!

I do the best I can not to give the boys frivolous gifts throughout the year, and they don't get many "treats" that are worth more than a couple dollars either.  That doesn't mean they aren't completely spoiled, but I don't buy them $20 toys for no reason, ya know?

Throughout the year the boys get "spoiled" with gifts at certain times.

Valentines- a small gift
Easter--a few smalls gifts+ candy
Summer- Passes to Busch Gardens/Water Country USA
August-Vinnie's birthday--5-7 gifts that they really want
October- Lucas' birthday--5-7 gifts that they really want
Christmas- About $350 total between the boys, with a pretty even split & a close number of gifts for each kid to open

All year long, as a parent, it is my responsibility to make sure they have clothing.  I buy clothes for all the members of our family as they NEED them.  Both kids got a couple special fun things as gifts during their birthdays. (Minecraft shirts for Lucas & Jurassic Park shirts for Vin)  It is also our job to make sure they have towels and other normal things for living a healthy life.  While a fun electric toothbrush is a good stocking stuffer, I wouldn't put their normal $1.25 for 2 brushes pack of tooth brushes in their stocking.  Its my JOB to make sure they have clean toothbrushes available.  (an electric brush is a luxury though)  I don't think that #2 or #3 on this list are "fair" to have as Christmas gifts.

We don't *DO* Santa Claus, but my children both believe in Santa & will assume that some of their gifts came from Santa.  They also know that Mama has been making a Christmas list all year long and that many of their gifts come from their parents.  They can have the fun of Santa without Santa getting the credit for all the gifts under the tree.  In the past I have had some gifts unwrapped (usually stuff I got second hand) and then others wrapped...and the unwrapped stuff was from Santa.  This year I don't have any secondhand gifts but we'll probably unwrap some of their stuff.

We always let the boys WANTS lead us in what we purchase for Christmas gifts. This year they are all about toys-to-life video games.  So, that's what they are getting.  LOTS of video game stuff.

It has been our tradition since Lucas' first Christmas, when he was 2 months old, for Tim to pick out a collection of books for the boys.  They've got quite a library of classics and he actually reads them to them!

So, we actually DO, do the #1 & 4 things on the list above, but not because we feel the need to LIMIT what the kids get for Christmas.  Those are just personal choices we made.  As they get older we'll probably even cater the books to things they've asked for or that we know they'll enjoy.  For now, Tim picks the books.

This year I'm a bit bummed/let down by the Christmas stash, since I don't think a big pile of video game stuff makes for a very exciting Christmas morning, but I know the boys will be beyond themselves with excitement over their new games & accessories.

As an adult the fun part of Christmas is GIVING gifts. I don't expect anything in return & I'll be okay if the only present I unwrap is from my kid sister. (Mom gave me a new artificial tree as a combo. birthday+Christmas gift)  I LOVE to see my boys spoiled rotten on Christmas. They may think that Santa gets the credit now, but someday they'll learn the truth, and they'll appreciate all that we put into making Christmas magical and amazing for them. :) Their joy brings me happiness.