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Why We Didn’t Give Our Kids Presents Last Christmas

Believe it or not, Christmas is almost here and that means its time to start thinking gifts. This is the time when you either prepare yourself for Black Friday (something that is not quite as big in Canada as it is in the U.S) to get that gift or whether you want a more low key Christmas. I on the other hand have a confession to make. Well it is not so much a confession as it is a statement. We have NEVER given our children a Christmas present. Yup, we have never bought a single thing, gift wrapped it in Christmas paper (I cannot even gift wrap, so why bother) and handed it to our kids and said, “Merry Christmas”.

why we never gave our kids christmas presents last year

Photo Credit: DollarPhoto Club/ Iordani

No we are not CRAZY even though a few people we know might think we are and they may be right but not in this instance. So before you mark me off as a Grinch let me state my case and then hopefully you will see my reasoning.

Grinch or Not- My kids received no gifts last Christmas
Photo Credit: DollarPhoto Club/ Roslen Mack
Life can get pretty hectic around Christmas time and while most families wind down, it is the opposite for us. It is bad enough that we experience a one day weekend (Mondays) but to throw a holiday in the mix causes chaos. By the time we settled down it made no sense to set up a tree or decorate. It was so bad according to some persons that they offered to set up our Christmas tree and one person even sent us two wreaths as well as Christmas decor.

BUT being busy led us to think about a few things:

1) It made no sense to buy something expensive when all they would prefer to play with is the box that the gift came in. If you don’t believe me, give your toddler and preschooler a box and watch their imagination run wild! I have heard J say that they are in a cave, driving in a car and sleeping in bed. Now why would I want to stifle that creativity?

2) Let’s be honest, most toddlers and preschoolers probably won’t remember what they got for Christmas, let alone from who.

3) I do not want my kids to associate Christmas with simply receiving gifts. We are a Christian family and the reason for Christmas is to celebrate the birth of Christ and to be happy that God sent His ONLY son for us. As such,we celebrate that fact with friends and family.

4) In case you think STILL our kids were deprived, no worries- they still received tons of presents. They just weren’t from us.

So, am I a grinch or not? Let me know in the comments below.

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Tuesday 25th of November 2014

While I certainly understand your reasoning, and don't think you're a Grinch, not giving our kids gift would steal a little joy from my own soul. My love language is gift giving and I thoroughly enjoy planning and choosing gifts to give for Christmas. We live pretty frugally during the year, so at Christmas we splurge a little. I think that when you do what works best for your personality and family, everyone wins. Thanks for sharing!

Alison Nancherrow

The Wellness Wife

Wednesday 19th of November 2014

I agree with you completely. We should never lose sight of "The Reason for the Season." I would love to not give any gifts, but my extended family hasn't jumped on board. However, my husband and I no longer exchange and now that my stepdaughter is in college, her gifts will be minimal.


Wednesday 19th of November 2014

I think that whatever works for your family is good Christmas is not about gifts and what they got but many other things for many other people. In my family however we don't buy toys and what not any other part of the year except on birthdays just because we cant afford it so I like to go all out if possible depending on my budget. Gifts are just one thing though we do the tree at the same time every year and cookie making time is a fun family event plus there are of course the events like to the candle walk and the lights and displays and the ice sculptures it just makes it memorable that we can do things as a family when normally work, school, life can get in the way. Everyone has there own thing but I know that my kids look forward to all the things we do this time of year as a family and hopefully when they have kids they will look back and remember them with a smile and pass it on to there kids.