Accidental Excess

December 28th, 2012

I had the best of intentions regarding simplicity and moderation in our holiday shopping for the kids.  I really did.  But somehow this happened:

In my defense, there are several factors contributing to the insanity pictured above.  A big one is that those are ALL the presents for our kids (and for us and my parents), including gifts from both sets of grandparents.

But really, there’s no excuse.  I let things get out of hand this year.

Last year, we did the “three presents for the kids to mirror the three presents from the wise men” thing, but I wasn’t satisfied with it.  My family has always been fond of little presents and there’s no room for that cute box of sparkly crayons if you’re only getting your child a couple presents.  So I gave myself more freedom this year, but got a bit carried away.

I know why.  It’s because our kids are at the perfect age for gift-buying.

They’re old enough to enjoy cool presents like dolls and trains and blocks.  (Shopping for an infant for Christmas is honestly not that exciting.)  And they’re young enough that presents are magical.  We’ve not yet entered the years of bored entitlement when all our kids will want for Christmas is cash or an electronic device and will feel that these presents are theirs by right.

My mom gave my daughter a pair of Tinker Ball pajamas and you’d have thought the child won the lottery.

That sort of joy makes buying presents incredibly fun and hard to resist.  But I did make a few realizations that will help guide our purchasing next year.  I’ll share them tomorrow!

3 responses to “Accidental Excess”

  1. Debbie says:

    I love the 4 gift rule-something they want, something they need, something to wear, something to read!! And, presents from Grands, Aunts, and Uncles don’t count!! Also, and I really am sorry to tell you this, rules don’t apply to Grands. Most Grands will try to stay around the parents’ guidelines but, if I want to slip in sparkly crayons AND a coloring book…

    • Kate says:

      Okay, so here’s my question about the 4-gift thing…what does a two-year-old really *need* — especially if you count clothing separately? We tried that last year and it felt so forced. I ended up buying a hat for Buggie as his “need” even though he didn’t need it…but I “needed” a “need”! Which just seemed dumb.

      And you’re absolutely right about grandparents. They have their own rules! Happily, ours are very good about checking with us before making major purchases. :-)

  2. […] went a bit over-board on gift buying for my kids this year.  And while I didn’t commit the cardinal Christmas sin of credit card debt, I […]

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