Thursday, December 5, 2013

Christmas Wish

 This morning I found THIS on my news page. I often get asked how we handle Christmas presents with so many children. Well, this little girl's Christmas wish list is not how we manage. We have actually had problems with entitlement issues around Christmas time before, not quite to this extent, but unreasonable demands, nonetheless. I remember one year when my stepdaughter looked at our Christmas tree and started whining about how she used to get a whole, huge, pile of presents. This child had already had Christmas with Grandma and Grandpa, Great Grandma and Grandpa, and Step Grandma and Grandpa. She had gotten presents at each of those homes, plus had presents waiting at her Mom's house when she got back there. She and her sister had opened brand new toys over the summer from the previous Christmas. That's right, they had so many Christmas presents that some of them didn't even get opened until June! I decided right then that we needed to seriously curb the present giving and focus on other things for the Christmas season.

 The next year we explained to all the children that Santa had a really big job to do delivering presents to all of the children in the whole wide world and that from now on we would only be getting ONE Santa present apiece since we didn't want to be selfish. Each child is allowed to ask for two or three different things with the knowledge that they will only receive one present (plus some small stocking stuffers). We spent that holiday season learning about other cultures and children in other parts of the world who don't have nearly the material goods we have here in the U.S.. We also focused on doing charity activities. In addition to the Santa present, our children usually get at least one present from Rod and I. The presents from us might be something they need or a fun event for the family (last year we went to Great Wolf Lodge), or we might get them something else off of their wish list. The kids know that this is dependent on our budget each year. We also have a family tradition of getting each child their own Christmas ornament each year.
 Reducing the amount of stuff  both given and expected has made our holidays much more fun and relaxed. The kids still get presents from family and we do fun things with friends this time of year. The kids don't feel deprived at all. They seem to have a lot more compassion for others when they aren't just focused on getting stuff for themselves. With seven kids, there is still a pretty hefty influx of new things in the house even with each child only getting a few presents.

 The kids decided to do a drawing for each other a couple of years ago, they put all of their names in a hat and each draw one sibling. We then go to the dollar store and pick out a present or two for whichever sibling they drew. I honestly think the buying is more important than the receiving for them. They came up with this idea all by themselves and then asked me to take them to the store. I really like that they are focusing on someone other than themselves.
 Duncan just told me that what he wants most for Christmas is a universal fixer that fixes everything. Then he will give it to Owen so he doesn't have any more seizures. I was expecting him to ask for Skylanders swap Force.

No comments:

Post a Comment