c/o Choies cardigan (only $36!); Logo tunic; Old Navy jeans; Target boots and scarf (similar); Ray ban sunnies.
This time last year my husband was deployed over the holidays and it gave me the time to really think about what I was buying our kids at Christmas. (What else do you do at home alone for months on end? Besides watch hours of QVC, of course.) I could see my kids had a good amount of stuff and certainly weren’t wanting for anything, but I felt like a lot of things had I had purchased in years past just didn’t pass the test of time. For me, it brought me pleasure to have lots of little gifts under the tree for them to open. Have you ever seen a three and four year old see the wonder of Christmas morning for the first time? It. Is. Amazing. Yet after all was said and done I found they only really fell in love with a few items and a couple of months later I ended up donating so many of the things that they lost interest in. So I made up a rule last year and told them that Santa only brings children 5 presents each. They can come up with a zillion things that they want and tell me they love every toy in the Target aisle, but they know Santa will only bring them five gifts each. (Which I realize is a totally first world problem, they are lucky to get the five as it is.) Needles to say, the experiment was a success last year and this year they have already started counting off the five things they really want to ask for and constantly shift items on and off. They know there are so many children in the world that Santa has to visit and that he gives a little to each family. This may or may not backfire as they get older and talk to their school friends, but until then we go with the 5 gift plan.
What this means for me is that I can buy them presents they really want, and buy better quality if possible, because I’m not worrying about filling up the space under the tree. We have a big family and they get tons of stuff from them, so in the end they have a great collection of things they love. I send gift ideas off to relatives and try to pick a theme of sorts each year for the kids and build on collections if possible. Molly loves her American Girl doll and Bitty Baby, so we will be adding to that little by little. She also loves Disney Princess dresses and I can get those on sale on Black Friday for a fraction of the cost. I’ll round it out with a tea set and call it a day for her. Brady is a little trickier, but he can always be made happy with anything he can build with or any type of truck. My husband and I also buy them each one thing from us, and on Christmas Eve they each get a new pair of pajamas and an ornament to hang on their tree. They look forward to this tradition every year.
I love that by pairing down on Christmas we are building a routine for the years to come. Choosing quality over quantity and showing the kids that Christmas is not about how many presents you can get. I’ll also bring them both to the store separately and have them buy presents for each other with some of their saved money. I’d love to show them the joy in giving to each other. When they get older we will visit and work in homeless shelters as well. They need to see how lucky they are and be able to serve others.
I just don’t want to waste money anymore buying presents for the sake of having them, you know? Paring back useless consumption is something I am working on, though it can be tough, especially this time of year. I can walk through Target and find so many things I really want and die over, but I’m scaling back in that department and shopping less for myself (and on a budget!) Who knew that a shopping budget makes one think more, hmmmm?
Shop this look: