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Thursday, December 29, 2011

How I Messed Up Christmas & Why I'm Glad I Did

Typical girl, Princess was excited to receive clothes as gifts. 
We have 11 nieces and nephews to buy for at Christmas.  In the craziness of making and buying all those gifts, I thought I had gone overboard on my kids' Christmas gifts.  I was feeling a little guilty about buying my kids so many gifts until Christmas day.  We let the kids look in their stockings before church at 10 am, but we didn't open gifts until that evening, after naps. 

More clothes!
 That evening, we sat on the floor by the Christmas tree and listened as Hubby read the Christmas story from Luke 2.  When that was done, I dug the kids' gifts out from under the tree (we hadn't celebrated Christmas with either side of the family yet so there were lots of presents under the tree yet) and passed them out.  There were four small packages for each child.  Hubby looked at the rather meager offerings and asked with a frown on his face, "Is that all you got them?"  I rummaged around under the tree again, but came up emptyhanded.  "I guess so."  I said, puzzled, as I was still sure I'd gone overboard on gifts.

Little Man really got into it, as you can see by his excited expression.
The kids eagerly tore into their presents.  Actually, Princess tore into hers.  Little Man poked a hole in one of his, realized that there was something in there that played music, and sat there pressing the button through the hole over and over until I "helped" him finish opening his gifts.  

Finally got a smile!
When all was said and done, they had each received two shirts (one from Baby Bug Boutique and one from Little Towheads), one book from Barefoot Books, and one small toy. 
We gave Little Man this toy cell phone.  Less than $10 at Target since it was on sale.

Princess received this toy microphone.  Also on sale at Target and I think I paid under $10 for it. 

At first, I felt bad.  Weren't we supposed to give our kids a ton of new toys to unwrap at Christmas?  Clothes and books were just supposed to be "extra" gifts, right? 

But then I saw how thrilled Princess and Little Man were with their new toys.  And I remembered last Christmas when they each got 5 or 6 toys to unwrap and how they didn't really play with any of them very much.  It's been four days since Christmas, and they're both still carrying around their toys and playing with them all day.  Neither child has said anything about how stingy Hubby and I (ok, just me since I do all the shopping) were with their gifts this year. 

A realization struck me.  I don't have to give my kids so many toys that they don't know what to play with just because so many other parents do.  And besides, we have a lot of relatives which means a lot of other gifts for the kidlets. 

So yes, I messed up Christmas because I didn't buy my kids as many gifts as I had planned.  And it was the best mistake ever.

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