Every year I promise myself that I am going to be reasonable in purchasing Christmas gifts. I try to be self-disciplined and only buy my kids 2-3 presents each. This, I tell myself, will teach them to have a better appreciation for the gift giving season and the true meaning of Christmas. It should also abolish any materialistic thinking I’ve already unfortunately instilled upon my kids over the years.
But it never works.
I overdo it year after year. I buy a bunch of crap my kids (nor I) need and then come January just stare at it spread all over my living room floor and think … what the heck was I thinking?
In 2015, it was found that the average Canadian adult plans to spend $766 on Christmas gifts, with about 27% planning to spend over $800, while 23% are looking to spend $200 and under. I, unfortunately, find myself in the 27% category.
But why? Why am I continuously over spending? I’ve deducted that there really is one reason to this madness:
I find myself rationalizing purchases based on the fact that I’m a working mom and therefore I can afford to provide my kids with a generous Christmas. I will see a toy that I know will make my child jump for joy Christmas morning, I reflect upon how working does not always allow me to spend the time that I would like with my kids, and then I justify my overspending.
My logic is simple really: Income + Work + Mom Guilt + Occasion buy toys = Very happy kids
But is this in any way helping my child? Or my bank account? Probably not. If anything, it’s creating justifiable expectations that every year they’ll get 10+ presents under the Christmas tree, which could lead to eventual spoiling (if not already prevalent) and a significant under appreciation for any gift put in front of them.
It’s ridiculous. It’s particularly ridiculous given the devastation and destruction going on in today’s world, with so many children not even fortunate enough to have a safe home to live in. Then, here I am walking out of Toys R Us with a $400 bill and 5 bags full of toys my kids really don’t need.
I guess the first step to fixing a problem is recognizing why you have one, right?
Here’s hoping next year I will be better.