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No Christmas presents?

November 23rd, 2010 / 3 Comments

Don’t feel guilty!

I didn’t know how else to start this post except to just say it.

Are you feeling guilty that this Christmas with money a bit tight, you’re not going to be able to buy the kind of gifts your kids want?

Or you can’t afford that vacation or the tickets to Disneyland?

What if I say you don’t have to buy presents for your children this Christmas?

Before you call me Scrooge, let me explain.

Unhappy Children = Bad Parents?

Is that a true equation?

Parents do not delight in seeing their children unhappy. We try to give them the best environment to grow up in, but as life happens, disappointments and sadness will invade even the most protected childhoods.

In some ways, we feel responsible for our children’s happiness. When they are unhappy, we think we haven’t met our own expectations of providing for our children, and we feel guilty. We are bad parents.

But that equation is not true.

Unhappy Children = Unhappy Parents

Rather than feeling guilty, the more appropriate response to our children’s unhappiness is experiencing unhappiness as well. It is reasonable to be disappointed.

The answer then is to do other things to bring in the joyous season to lift our spirits.

This Christmas, do not feel guilty if you cannot afford to buy presents. It doesn’t make you a bad parent. There are many other ways to be a good parent without breaking the bank.

In upcoming posts, we will talk about more meaningful ways to celebrate the holidays.

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  1. We are definitely in the category of having less to give with this year. We have been trying really hard to keep the kids focused on the joy that comes from giving to others. Also, as they become older we share with them that every family gives in proportion to what it can and that every family is in a different situation. They are slowly beginning to get it. Lastly, (or rather, firstly)we try to remind them what Christmas is really about – The greatest gift God gave to US in the person of His son. Thanks for the post, Katy!

  2. Traci, that really is the spirit of Christmas we want to pass on to our children, not the spirit of materialism. Thanks for commenting.

  3. i have found that it doesn’t take a huge amount of money to give gifts if you want to still do that. one large family i know decided that the limit for each gift was $1. so they all had fun exchanging dollar store presents with each other. I have a friend who gives me used handmedown toys and I save them for christmas and birthday time so our kid is actually very used to getting USED stuff as gifts. We also tell him if that if he wants something special he just needs to save his chores money and go buy it himself. now our kid is still pretty young but hopefully these values will translate to him later in life 🙂

    thanks for the great post katy 🙂


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