I love Christmas morning. Growing up, the anticipation was so high on Christmas Eve, my sister and I sometimes convinced my mom to let us open just one present before going to bed that night. One year we somehow even conned her into letting us open all of the gifts on Christmas Eve. I think a promise to let her sleep in was the bait that year.
Ever since becoming a mom over 8 years ago, I love Christmas even more. Everyone loves receiving gifts, but seeing the pure joy and amazement on my children’s faces while they open their gifts is priceless. I want that feeling for both of us to last as long as possible. So I buy a lot of gifts for my kids, and I won’t apologize for or justify it to anyone. When we wake up on Christmas morning, the living room where the presents are is usually so full that we couldn’t reach the tree if we wanted to. That’s how we do Christmas with our kids. All out.
They get an abundance of presents, and I’m not sorry about it. How I decide to spend my hard-earned money is 100% my business and nobody else’s. I’m not spending what I think is a lot of money. They get just as excited over a toothbrush from the dollar store as they do opening a $60 toy. I do buy purposefully, though. I don’t just buy everything I see on the store shelves. I buy things that I think they would like and things they asked Santa for. I buy some practical gifts like toiletries, socks, clothes, etc. They get a little bit of everything.
Seeing how excited they are opening all of their presents on Christmas Day is one of my joys in life. Guess what? It doesn’t make them ungrateful brats either. My kids are well-behaved, polite, and kind humans. They hold doors for people, say please and thank you, and are kind to others. (Don’t worry though, they also have their moments.)
I’m not going to buy presents based on a rhyme that someone I don’t know made up. (You know the one: something you want, something you need, something you wear, something you read.) Yes, I bought things that they need, want, wear, and read. No, I didn’t limit it to four presents. No, I’m not sorry about it. They still understand the meaning of Christmas. They are still grateful for everything they receive.
This isn’t to shame those moms who give one gift or four. If you choose to give gifts, however many you give, that is okay too. This is to say to those moms who are made to feel guilty for giving your kids piles of gifts that it’s okay to do that. You do you. Don’t worry about that aunt of yours who makes a passive-aggressive comment on the picture of your kids tearing through piles of wrapping paper saying, “Wow. That’s a lot of gifts for two kids” or the ever-so-famous, “They won’t even remember that.”
Just keep scrolling Aunt Sherri. Nothing for you to see here.
Christmas can be about so many beautiful things, but for me, family is at the top of that list. Spending time with our family and making memories together is what we love to do on Christmas Day. Piles of toys, clothes, and even bigger piles of wrapping paper. Cuddling on the couch and watching The Grinch for the 385th time. Drinking way too much hot cocoa.
Whatever your family tradition is, embrace it. Lots of presents or a few presents. Staying at home or traveling. Baking cookies together or ordering take-out. We shouldn’t be judging other parents behind the keyboard but embracing our different backgrounds and how we choose to celebrate Christmas. I spoil my kids with piles of presents, and it makes me so happy to see them opening every single one. Sorry, not sorry.