The biggest gift of all

Filed under: Holidays

Ellie has recently shown an intense fascination with her own babyhood, so we spent a good chunk of this past weekend strolling down memory lane. We brought out the photo albums and videos and settled in to reminisce about days gone by. Many of the photos we looked at and videos we watched were taken at Christmases past and I was horrified by what I saw. No, it wasn't that shot of my backside in velour Santa pants that had me squirming. It was the enormous pile of presents I spied under each year's Christmas tree. Did we really go that far? What were we thinking?

I've gotten better about limiting the excess gift-giving at the holidays, but I've still got some work to do. I love to give gifts, especially to children. But no child really needs 20 presents to open on Christmas morning and in the past few years, Santa has become a lot more conservative. But this year, Santa is going all the way and stopping the gift-giving at one. Well, one big gift anyway. There will still be a few small trinkets here and there, but this year I am buying one gift that we can all enjoy together as a family.

I didn't just make this decision without running it by the person who will be most effected by the change - Ellie herself. Surprisingly, despite the fact that I set the Christmas gift bar so high in years past, she is totally cool with it. Of course, it helps that the big gift is something she has been begging for forever -- a Nintendo Wii.

Already this plan has taken a lot of the usual holiday stress off of me. I am saving money, time and lots of running around. But most importantly, I am lowering that bar back down where it should have been in the first place. What about you? Have you been guilty of excess gift-giving at the holidays? Are you ready to scale back?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.