Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Day 120 - The 12 Gifts of Christmas

Limiting the Number of Gifts I Give My Kids

Continuing to plan my green holiday season....

Every parent wants to give their children a wonderful Christmas, full of family activities, good food and lots of great presents. Who doesn't love to see the wide-eyed look of a child as he comes down to see the bounty left under the tree by old Kris Kringle? It's one of the few times of the year when you feel like you can really make your child's wild little dreams come true.

But, have we gone overboard? Do we give our kids too much? Undoubtedly we do. All in the spirit of giving, but still, it's just too much stuff. Too much emphasis on consumerism and having all the latest plastic toys. I am hoping against hope that it is not too late to change the way we celebrate and I'm going to start by changing the sheer number of gifts we give. I will opt for quality over quantity and will not lead my children to believe the the number of gifts they receive in any way correlates to how much they are loved.

Plus it's less stuff I have to wrap.


I'm trying to recollect how many presents each child received last year and I simply cannot. This fact alone tells me that they received more than they should have. This year, I will limit each child to a MAXIMUM of twelve gifts - and this includes the little toys stuck into stockings. That means six presents from Mommy & Daddy and six presents from the guy in the red suit. Twelve gifts is more than enough for any child. And it's much more than most other children in the world will recieve this year.

Difficulty Level: 5 out of 5

It is very difficult for me not to cast aside my eco-conscious when it comes to my children (Just look at how I fold like a house of cards every time we go to McDonald's). I love to feel like the fairy god mother who grants their wishes with a wave and a smile. However, I need to continually remind myself that denying them a Barbie or Transformer is not the same as withholding love.


leslie said...


Just in case you haven't seen this...


Green Bean said...

I recently finished Living Simply With Children which really inspired me to cut back on all the material things we give our children and replace it with experential gifts. For instance, for my boys, one will get a trip on a train ride and another will get a trip to the symphony.

I haven't figured out what the number is for gifts yet - I need to do that. My problem is grandparents and aunts and such. Many are unwilling to cut back which makes me feel the need to cut back even further.

A final thought is to lurk at your local thrift store for some of your children's gifts which at least cuts back on the number of NEW products consumed this Christmas. Our local thrift store has some great things - my sisters are eternally jealous over my boutique store jeans that I bought there for $3. :)