Growing up I was raised in a traditional Catholic family and Christmas was always 95% about the birth of Jesus and spending quality time with loved ones, and 5% about Santa and presents. We would always attend church and do bible readings and breaking of the host, which we still do. In terms of presents, there was a strong focus on what we needed like new clothes, (which my mom mostly made) and bathroom accessories. We did not get a ton of toys, but we did get one each year!
I love my family’s Christmas traditions and am so happy that my parents raised us in this way. Sometimes I hated that first day back to school in January when the teacher asked what we got for Christmas, and I never had anything cool to brag about! At times I was envious of others who were spoiled so rotten during Christmas that they did not appreciate the gifts they received and often demanded more or alternatives (some of our relatives), but looking back, I have learned to earn things that I want and to appreciate things I have and gifts that I receive because of all of this.
Since having Owen, I have been feeling the pressure to spoil him and now Anna too. Both Dave and I agree strongly on how we raise our children and try to only spoil them with love and time. We have been incredibly blessed and fortunate that we have not had to buy a lot for them in terms of essentials, but also did not make up for that by buying them a lot of new things. I find it especially hard this year to fight the social pressures (whether intentional or not) to buy more and more and spoil my kids for Christmas.
I feel pressure from both friends and family, knowing how much people buy for their kids at Christmas makes me feel like what we will give will not be enough and will never be enough. It also makes me ill!! I don’t know how people do it! Last year we never really got Anna anything since she was 4 months old and we got Owen a toy, a couple books, clothes and shampoo for Christmas last year! This year we decided to do one bigger “toy” from Santa and do one or two smaller things and essentials from us, only because Owen knows who Santa is this year and we do want him to have that magical belief over Christmas.
I think I am feeling more pressure this year than any other year because of my higher involvement with friends, neighbors, and people in general, so it is ever so present! Does anyone else feel this pressure with similar wants for their family? Or is this the time of year you go crazy and get your kids the newest of everything out there in their age range? Would love to hear your comments below!