I treat the holidays as a time to gather with friends and family over copious amounts of food, laughter and usually booze. For me, Christmas is a time to be together. To ice cookies and listen to rat pack Christmas albums.
I don’t do elf on the shelf because I don’t need Santa's little
I also don’t buy my children extravagant gifts under the guise of them being from Santa. Santa only fills stockings at our house and he doesn’t fill them with iPads. He fills them with little toys and trinkets that the kids love--like Rubik's cubes and candy and nail polish. The Hatchimal that I had to go to three damn Targets to secure came from mommy and daddy. Because Santa's jolly ass fo sho isn't getting credit for that shit.
But more than just not wanting to give a mythical figure credit for my hard earned money and time, I am thinking of other families when I limit what Santa gives my kids. My kids go to a school where there is an incredible range of household incomes. Some children at their school may be lucky to get a few trinkets from the dollar store from Santa, while others get an Xbox and a literal pony. How do you explain to a child in need that Santa provided a family that already had so much with even more and that he provided them with so little? I have no problem with you providing your child with a Clydesdale for Christmas, but don't do it in the name of Santa. On second thought, if you have Clydesdale money, please just promise me that you will make a gift to charity that equals the amount you pay for the horse. Also, can I pet it? And maybe name it Sparky? And possibly have it pull me around in a cart shaped like a smaller horse?
Anyway. So on Christmas, we give our children very little from "Santa". And to be honest, not much more from us. My kids each get three gifts. All totaling less than $100 per child. Because my kids don't need more "stuff". They need love and support and kindness-all of which come for free.
So how do our kids feel about this? Happy. And grateful. I told them that I asked Santa to only fill our stockings even when he gives others gifts because we are so lucky with all of the love that we have in our lives. And they get it. And they spread that love and spirit of it's-better-to-give-than-to-receive to others.
I will step off my Santa soapbox. But I hope that some of you will join me in pulling back on Santa's reins this year. In the name of raising grateful kids, supporting kids in need and getting ALL the damn credit for that damn Hatchimal.
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