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Why We Didn’t Give Our Kids Presents Last Christmas

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 24th of November 2015

I do not think you are a Grinch and I agree with your reasoning. However I do feel that from experience... sometimes when kids get into an older frame of mind and speak with others they might feel deprived. I am not saying you are bad in any way. However.... Kids sometimes rebel when we go polar opposite on things as a Christian. Even though you are busy... the joy my kids get when seeing our tree put up, the joy in my heart of seeing them place 20 ornaments in a 2 foot space while leaving the rest of the tree bare and the joy of seeing them rediscover things we think are frivolous is amazing. The fun of simple traditions and family bonds is really what makes this time of the year so special. We too are Christians and I agree that we give gifts because it reflects the gift of Christ coming into the world as our gift from God the Father. We have toned the amount down and even give needed things to them like clother for example. It is so fun to be surprised on Christmas morning and to rip that paper open. It's really a joy. Perhaps the exhaustion from not having time to even decorate is what is having an impact on your decisions. But, we are ALL created differently and have different convictions. I just was raised Christian and then later from having friends saw some of the things my mom did not allow.. and for awhile in my life I did rebel and felt like I missed out. It was not a case of drugs or something severe.. but seeing I was kept from many things because it was " pagan" really made me think differently. We uplift and really go big on celebrating all of the God centered holidays like Christmas and Easter and we also do not do halloween.... but we still substitute things in place so they don't feel as if they are missing out on memories.


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.