Thursday, January 7, 2010

Is Christmas really about the kids anymore?

This is a topic that I held off before Christmas to talk about.  Someone in my husband's family, we will call her the Scrooge, made the decision that we would not be doing christmas presents this year between the families.  Now we hadn't bought gifts for the adults since I can't remember which was all fine and dandy.  But when the decision was made that we would not buy for our nieces and nephews, I was furious.  My kids are young as you all know.  Her kids are older.  I've been buying them presents for ever.  My brother-in-laws' kids are even younger.  So I guess his kids will never get gifts from aunts and uncles. WTH is that about?

Now she tried something last year about drawing names for the kids which was vetoed.  This time she did it in such a way that we all thought the other had agreed to it.  Well, at Thanksgiving, I brought it up after she left.  You know what...NO ONE had agreed directly.  NO ONE had said that was ok.  Now, to be fair here, her husband did quit his job this year.  So I could understand if she was in my financial situation or his brothers...but she is NOT.  In fact, I know for a fact that she gets upset about her checking account if it goes under 6 figures.  I'm not talking about $1000.00 figure either. 

So the Scrooge made this decision for our families.  I was really worried about it since the decision was made.  It was brought up at Faith's birthday party that only grandma was allowed to bring gifts.  So here I am in October thinking how can I make Christmas really special for my kids since they will NOT be having the typical Christmas that they are used too.  Was I being materialistic?  I don't think so because they could have even made the presents.  BTW I brought that up to the Scrooge that we get all the kids together to make gifts for each other.  It wouldn't have cost much.  That was a no go.

So when we found out on Thanksgiving that it was just the Scrooge who wanted this.  The family said that we could go ahead and buy Christmas presents.  Well I couldn't at that point, I had already prepared through my husband's guidance a surprise for the kids for Christmas.  As well as spent as much as I could for my kids by then.  Ebay is wonderful.  Now I did tell his family what my husband had come up with for Christmas.  I, also, told them that the Scrooge had knocked down the idea of making gifts. grins I'm a little evil here, so is my husband, Christmas was being held at the Scrooge's house.  Guess what we did?  We did arts and crafts.  I bought at Walmart.. yes I said Walmart.  I hadn't ordered my gift for Jason yet.

Now this isn't what we had but you get the visual.  We had felt boards to make cards.  We had Christmas Trees, Santas, and Letters.  At first it was the adults doing it but the kids soon got into it.  Even the older kids.

Was it messy?  A little bit but not that much.  See all the crafts on the table.  Of course that is a brand new laptop that the Scrooge bought herself.  So was it about the money?

See even the older boys got into it.  Wonder if they know that there would be proof forever that they did this?  Oh future girlfriends of these too.  I have the proof for you.

This is where it came down.  See my son's face?  He was upset that this was the only gift he got at this gathering.  So is Christmas about the kids?  Or was I just overreacting as usual?  Or did I have a Hormone upswing from Men-o-pause?  I don't think so.  Seeing my son and my daughter's face was enough to still tick me off. 

Tell me your thoughts.



Anonymous said...

I'd like for my family to all agree to just give gifts to the kids and not the adults! I say this every year....what do we adults really need? I'd rather see my nieces and nephews faces light up opening gifts than getting a gift myself.

On the other hand, I don't like the idea that kids think that Christmas is all about how many gifts they's a balancing act I guess.

Amy said...

my husband's family gives gifts to the children. I was hoping they did because now I have my little one and I know his parents bought forever for them. Gifts really should not matter but it harder for the little ones to understand this.

Debbie said...

I am so confused as to why this one person gets to make all the rules. I so be proactive now for this coming year. And good for you for doing the crafts. Kids aren't really into sitting around and talking like adults are.

June Freaking Cleaver said...

I have NEVER received a Christmas gift from my aunts and uncles, nor my cousins my entire life (my dad was one of 11, my mom, one of six).

My kids got gifts from only one of my four brothers. Likewise, I did not buy gifts for my nine nieces and nephews.

Guess what? The kids got enough gifts. I even limit my son to five gifts, and he lives to tell about it.

Unfortunately, Christmas is too much about the kids, and spoiling them rotten, and we've lost the true meaning of Christmas.

Even our grandchildren don't get a bonanza from us. That's what they have Santa and their parents.

Of course, this is all based on my experience and my opinion...your mileage may vary.

Jules said...

Christmas is for the kids for sure. Like you said, they could have been creative and made something. Or there are gifts out there that you can even buy for a few dollars that make them happy. I would have vetoed the whole thing too.

Andrea said...

Christmas should be about the kids.

Hadiyah said...

Ugh, I'm so annoyed and I don't even know you lol!

But really, Christmas should be about the kids and maybe its a little materialistic (?) but geez, it doesn't take much money to make a child happy!

I had a similar situation with "SOMEONE" but I guess at the last minute she changed her mind and she did get my children a few gifts.

I don't understand people, I really don't.

I hope the rest of your christmas was fun!

Flory said...

I tried to leave out the older kids this year, but couldn't go through with it. At 15 and 16, they still get excited about Christmas.

Daffy said...

Especially after seeing the new lap top I'm thinking that Scrooge would rather her kids not have presents from the rest of the family at all than to risk having something purchased at such a ghetto 'department' store as walmart.

Just makes me angry for you. How sad... I'm am happy that the rest of the family went ahead and exchanged within their means. That part is still important to teach the kids. It's about family time, sharing, and giving with the heart. Which evidently Scrooge doesn't have.

Maybe next year the kids can all sew a huge heart for her.

Just Breathe said...

Christmas has always been about the kids for me. I don't think you were wrong. Why wouldn't everyone want to buy for their neice's & nephew's? Who made her the boss and why didn't others speak up? I think your "Scrooge" is selfish.
Over the years it has been my experience that the people who want to stop giving gifts are the very people who have it all. It's all about them! That is not the Christmas spirit.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I would be mad too. I know all too well about being the ones always to give presents to other kids in the family because we didn't have a child for so long. Now that we finally joined parenthood, we expect people to treat our son just as well. Your family Scrooge sounds absolutely nasty!

Anonymous said...

Well, I don't think it was right for scrooge to make the decision for everyone. However, I do see that Christmas is becoming too over materialistic driven but it's hard for the little kiddos to understand that.

blueviolet said...

I'm thinking that if she didn't want to do the gift exchange, she should have withdrawn herself but not ended it for everyone else if they still wanted to do it! said...

Something tells me that since her kids are older she now deems it a waste of her time and money. AKA: nothing in it for her anymore.


Maybe next year let everyone else handle gifts the way you are used to and inform HER of this class action. I'd announce it around July 4th.

Anita said...

That's tough because I don't think everyone will ever be totally in agreement.
Even if you all talk about it this year and make a decision about next Christmas, somebody's circumstances will change and once again, there will be unhappy people.
Hopefully, you and your husband and kids can decide what to do next Christmas to make it enjoyable.

chubskulit said...

Oh what a nice bonding with a bit of arts on the theme. Dropped ec and followed your blog.

Helene said...

My sister and I always agree to just exchange gifts between our kids. With my mom, it's always up in the air. This year they got us something so I did get them something and we always give something to my IL's.

But I agree that it's about the kids...even though Christmas is so much more than a gift-giving event, the kids look forward to the presents!

Anonymous said...

I love that you came up with the arts and crafts idea and it looks like it turned out to be a hit. At least there will be happy memories about playing with cousins. We also usually just do gifts for kids and skip the adults. It's so much more fun and less stressful that way.

Frugal Vicki said...

First of all, I have my own fair share of crazily selfish people in my family, so I know how you are feeling. You feel guilty because you feel like you are being materialistic or what not, but on the other hand, you know your kids deserve the best Christmas possible.
It seems to me that there has to be some compromise. My family used to have each kid draw a name. That way it balanced out. It stinks you have to buy ten gifts if you have ten kids, but on the other hand you are getting ten presents.

Corrie Howe said...

Extended family and Christmas is hard. Does any family really come to a satisfactory answer?

Just Breathe said...

Stop on over, tag your it!