Believe it or not, I haven’t purchased one single Christmas gift for my daughter. Yes, I spend the majority of my work day looking online for the best deals on hot holiday toys, but despite that I haven’t bought a single thing. Sure, the deals have been tempting, but ever since my daughter’s first Christmas I have resolved that I will not go crazy. I will not stand in ridiculous lines and risk getting maced just so she can have a billion toys under the tree. Instead, I’ve instituted the 3 gift rule.
Yup, it’s true. I only buy my daughter 3 Christmas gifts every year. And I will continue to do so for as long as I buy her Christmas gifts.
I started doing this for a number of reasons. First and foremost, it’s just practical. We’re short on space and I simply just wouldn’t have the space to store a million new Christmas toys.
Of course, it’s also financial. As a single parent, it just isn’t fiscally responsible to blow that much cash for one day.
And then there is the brat factor. My daughter is only 3-years-old now so if I start showering her with every toy she sees on a commercial on Christmas, what is she going to expect when she gets older? Plus, she’s not just getting gifts from me. Add to my 3 what her grandparents and other relatives will buy her and that’s a lot of gifts for a toddler.
I get that Christmas is supposed to be a magical time for kids–it was for me. But I can remember vividly getting so pissed at my parents when my brother got 2 more gifts than me. Even if I got everything I asked for, I was still unhappy if my brother had more than me. And I don’t want that for my daughter. This is a time to be thankful for our blessings and rewarded for being obedient–not for keeping tabs on who can rack up the most “stuff.”
So that’s why I stick by the 3 gift rule. My little girl knows if she listens and behaves, then she’ll get 3 nice things under the Christmas tree. We are not making it rain Christmas presents just because we have it like that–Christmas is not a competition. I want to teach her to be thankful for what she gets, even if it’s significantly less than others. And that even if she gets nothing, she is still has quite a lot.
What do you think? Do you shower your kids with Christmas gifts or do you try to limit gifting during the holidays? How many Christmas gifts is too many? Share your thoughts on over-gifting in the comments.
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