Christmas is a stressful time of year for parents: gifts, family get-togethers, baking, parties, concerts, and more gifts. Now that our girls are a little older, they can verbalize what it is they want for Christmas (naturally), but also their favorite things about the season.
As parents, we may notice our children’s greedy behavior during this time of endless toy commercials and Christmas ads. But if you look a little deeper, you will see your child’s desire for something different during Christmas: family traditions. When Fofo talks about Christmas she says, “I love decorating the tree!” “I love looking at the Christmas tree!” “I can’t wait for Mama’s peppermint cookies!” Bear freaked out at the first sign of Christmas lights. “Mama! Christmas lights!!”
Don’t get me wrong, they have their moments of shouting “Puss in Boots for Christmas!!” And picking out toys during each commercial, “I’m gonna get the blue one and Lilly is gonna get the red one.” At first I was super annoyed at the latter behavior. Then I remembered when I was a kid, I would look through catalogs and daydream about the items I would like. I wasn’t being greedy. I didn’t expect my parents to buy me things. I was just being a kid and living in a fantasy world of shoes and bedspreads. I was a strange child.
Of course we don’t indulge their needy behavior, we leave the spoiling for Grandma 🙂 It’s such a blessing to have grandparents that spoil the kids so much. It’s less pressure on us to get the kids oodles of presents. In fact, the first couple of years, we didn’t get the girls much of anything. Gasp. I know. Horrible parents right here. We didn’t want to start of giving them a crap ton of presents right away, and be expected to keep it up year after year. So we keep it manageable. We use the mantra “Something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read.” 4 meaningful gifts. Although, we always have almost 75 books checked out from the library so we get them something to watch.
This was the haul from last year’s Christmas. Along with our humble tree. And that is how we like it. We keep things simple, humble, and meaningful. Because that is what we want our kids to remember about the holidays. The memories we made together.
Sunday afternoon we were watching Christmas movies, and Mickey’s Christmas Carol came on. One of my mom’s holiday traditions is to give us one ornament each year, even as adults. They are always an ornament in a part of a series. She has done that for the grandkids as well. One of Fofo’s recent ornament series was Mickey’s Christmas Carol. The movie came on, the girls gasped. “This is our favorite movie! I love this movie!” And started to take the Christmas Carol ornaments off the tree. I said, “What are you doing?” And the girls said, “We did this last year! We have to do it again.”
That’s when it struck me. As much as kids seem like all they care about is presents, deep down, they care about the traditions they participate in every year. Baking the cookies, decorating the tree, Christmas ornaments, taking family pictures, looking at Christmas lights, and opening Christmas presents on Christmas morning. As the girls get older and seem to not appreciate the traditions and want more things, I will have to remind myself of these simple days and the fact they do care about making memories just as much as the gifts.
Have a great week everyone 🙂
Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom
I love the traditions of Christmas and my girls love it too. We do so many things to make the season special.
I love that you didn’t start off with giving them a whole bunch of presents too! We were/are the same. Plus we do the; “something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read” thing too. Sweet – you know what they say about great minds!
Thanks for sharing.
I love as how they get older we can add more things to the traditions list as we don’t have to worry about nap times, diapers, strollers, etc. My mom sent us an advent calendar last week. I had forgotten how much I loved that when I was younger!
And yes, great minds do think a lot, I mean alike 🙂
Thanks for reading!!
Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom
LOL – a lot – alike! You made me chuckle.
We love our advent calendars (yes that’s plural)… we have five! Eeek!
Thanks so much for sharing (and for linking up to the #SHINEbloghop).
Wishing you a lovely weekend.
It’s smart not to give that many gifts. I probably should have done that but..well, I was an only child and got lots of stuff, so I sort of continued that with my kids. LOVE that pinky pie shirt. My daughter would love it.
If my parents didn’t spend so much and we had the funds I am sure we would spoil them too 😉 We were thinking long term. If they are used to 4 gifts, then as teenagers then can’t complain they don’t get as many gifts as they did when they were kids.
Thanks for stopping by!
My favorite part of Christmas is the traditions and the memories made. I look back at when my daughters were little and remember how we spoiled them rotten. There were so many presents they would get exhausted and frustrated that there were more because they just wanted to play with their new things. I wish I would have read your post back then. I love your motto “Something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read.”
Now that they are teens we don’t spoil them anymore, in part because their gifts are more expensive, but mostly because I finally realized it was about the traditions with them as well. They won’t be with me this Christmas so it will be a little weird but I know they will carry out the traditions while with their Dad this year.
Wishing you a FABULOUS week.
I’m glad we heard this mantra before we starting buying the kids gifts. Now they can say what they want and their are so many choices!! It helps keep Christmas contained. I’m so glad the kids enjoy the traditions, it makes you feel like you got this parenting thing right for once 🙂 I’m sure your kids value the traditions and memories as well.
Thank you so much for your nice words 🙂 Have a great weekend!!