Thursday, December 15, 2011

Santa is Skipping our House

This is what Henry's getting for Christmas:

And that's it.

I thought it was a great idea: get the kid one big gift that he will love and play with every single day. His grandmas, aunts, and uncles will get him a ton of other stuff, and really, how much can one kid play with anyway?

But, guys, you would not believe the backlash I am getting for "only" buying my kid one present for Christmas.

Here are some responses, unedited, with what I *wish* I had responded in italics.

From the grinch who poked their nose in my Christmas, "Oh, just one present from Mom + Dad, and then others from Santa?" Uh, no. Just one present. By the way, my kid's not even two years old. He doesn't have a clue who Santa is.

Same nose-poker, "You might be able to get away with that now, but not when he gets older and wants more." Hi, newsflash, I'm the parent, I'll decide how much I'm going to spend on my kid and how many presents he receives. HE is not in charge of ME. Maybe that's how your house runs, but I'm trying to teach my kid that you don't get everything you want.

From another well-meaning Santa, "We only got one present each when we were little, but that's because we were POOR." (Emphasis his). Yes, I'm aware that we CAN buy more for our kid. But a) I'm not going to waste money on junk that will break or get donated in less than a year, and b) P + I are pretty responsible with our money.

From pretty much every other person I talk to, "Really? Just ONE present? Are you sure?" Yeah, I'm pretty sure. It's not like it's a life or death situation, people. Had I known it would cause this much freaking conversation, I would never have opened my mouth in the first place.

All of these questions have made me wonder: why, exactly, are parents getting kids EVERYTHING they want anyway? I remember Christmases at our house growing up being a pretty big affair. I clearly remember my dad telling my mom, "They can only play with one thing at a time!" And I definitely remember quickly losing interest in eighty percent of those toys within about two months. Did I really need that extra Barbie? Of course not! And don't get me started on the board games! I love board games, but we must have had over a hundred. And we were WAY worse off than what P + I are right now. What in the world were my parents thinking?

And what are all these other parents thinking? Now, I'm not trying to be a total grinch about Christmas - I love Christmas. I will also love paying off my credit card bill in full come January, and I wonder how many of the "buy everything they ask for" parents can say that.

P + I did put a LITTLE thought into this decision. Here's our reasoning, not that I should need a G.D.* reason for how we spend our money:

We have a smallish house. It's certainly not an apartment, and I've totally lived in smaller, but for Pete's sake, toys take up a ridiculous amount of room. And of course he's not content to keep them in his room. There must be at least two toys in every single room of the house at any given time - I'm pretty sure he's OCD like that.

He certainly isn't deprived when it comes to toys. He's good, don't worry. We have plenty. In fact, we still have two boxes from Christmas LAST YEAR that we haven't even opened. He's not going to grow up and think his parents didn't love him because he didn't have 25 presents to open Christmas morning.

Toys cost money. Money I'd much rather put toward the mortgage so we can help him pay for college someday. Or buy a car for him.

His current favorite toy is a tie between wooden spoons and anything in the plastic containers drawer. (Hence the choice of a kitchen - I'm not as dumb as I look. What this kid needs is a distraction while Mama's cooking.) Blankets and socks are a close third and fourth.

He doesn't NEED more toys. He doesn't even really WANT more toys. It's called being RESPONSIBLE.
Bottom line, Santa can skip our house. Mama has it covered. And I probably won't have time to make cookies anyway, since I'll be too busy wrapping the kid's ONE GIFT.

*Phillip + I are trying to watch our language.

Image from here.


  1. Yikes! I can't believe the firestorm that your one present idea brought on! Personally, I think it's a GREAT idea! It will undoubtedly give Henry many hours (and years!) of enjoyment. I totally agree that there's no reason to give a child everything he/she wants. When my kids were little, sometimes I would box up half of their toys and put them in the closet for a later date anyway. See, you have at least one supporter!

  2. P.S. That's a REALLY cool kitchen -- he's going to have a ball with it!

  3. You guys are awesome. :)

    Hope you all had a great Christmas!