Friday, October 24, 2014

hear ye! hear ye!

not my house. 
I was going to sit on this post for a bit... wait until after Myles' birthday since its sorta late to do something like this... but I think we can't wait any more. 

This is where I get to be THAT mom.  The mean one.  The weird one.  The "can you believe she just said that to us" one.  Yup.  But thats my job.  And since I try to live life on the edge, I'm going to go there.  And you might just thank me for it.  


*let me step up on my soapbox for a moment. 


I am hereto enacting a rule.  

Just hear me out.

I toyed with the idea last year of the 3 present rule that I read about online (one want, one need, and one educational) I mentioned it to my family that I was toying with it.  I had a mostly positive response with a few jokes here and there.  Overall, I was too chicken to declare it to everyone.  But after thinking on it, its a bit too complicated to think about, with too many rules to feel strict on.  So how about I simplify?

For now on, if you buy a present for our child for birthdays or Christmas, you are restricted to 2.

No more than 2 gifts.  

Lets close a couple of loopholes/clarify.  
  • One item equals one gift.
  • You can't just fill a large bag with ten things and count that as one.  That would be cheating.  
  • A full outfit may count as one.  
  • A pair of grandparents or family group is limited to two total. ex: Gamma can't give two and Gampa two more.

Now, why are you being this strict evil mom?  I'm glad you asked.  

I don't just willy nilly throw out crazy notions like this.  It has been thought on, stressed over, anxiously conversed with myself since before Myles was born.  It is time I got it out there so I can stop thinking about it.  So lay down your weapons for a minute and just consider my reasons.
  • Our society has become way too obsessed with things.  I know Myles will struggle with this too, but I would like to set the tone now for how birthdays and Christmases will just be in our home.  I want my son to grow up looking forward to these times because they mean special moments with family and friends with traditions and Christ.  Not because these are the times when he gets everything he wants and then some.  
    • Truth time: I know growing up there were Christmases that me or the other kids in the family would get super excited opening presents and then sulk when we didn't get exactly what we wanted.  Years later, do I remember every present I ever got?  Heck no.  Do I remember baking cookies with my mom and Chex mix with my dad; piling in bed with our new Christmas pajamas on for the yearly family photo; the awesome bunny shaped cakes Nana made when my birthday fell on Easter?  Yes.  Yes.  Yes.  That is the type of stuff I want my kids to focus on because that is what memories are made of.
  • There are exactly 6 weeks between Myles' birthday and Christmas.  If you go crazy buying a million things for his birthday, then seriously, what is left for Christmas?  A bunch of crap he doesn't need.
  • We do not have room in our home for him to have a million and one toys.  He does not need a million and one toys, he will never play with a million and one toys, so do not stockpile our small house with a million and one toys.  We are here for 4 more years and possibly, eventually one more child and we are already out of closet space.
  • If one side of the family buys a hundred toys, then the other side of the family feels like they can't buy any toys, and I sure as heck feel like I will never buy my kid a toy.  Let me feel like I can buy my kid a toy.
  • Personally this makes me feel like I can splurge and get him the nicer version of something for these occasions rather than feeling like I need to get a bunch of cheap made in China plastic to feel like I got him "enough".
That wasn't completely unreasonable right?  My love language is gifts but seriously I feel like this is much more freeing than restricting. We don't have to feel like "oh I haven't bought enough because he only has 4 things to open but I'm just not sure what else he needs".  Just get him one or two incredibly thoughtful gifts for these occasions and be done! "Just because" gifts are still allowed and encouraged!    I am not saying you don't get to spoil your grandkid/nephew/friend!  If you see an outfit you want him to have during the year, by all means drop it in the mail and surprise him.  Take him to a bookstore or candy store (eventually) when you are visiting and let him pick out a special treat.   When he is older, take him clothes shopping before school if you want to.

I just would really like to keep from fostering the attitude of entitlement so many kids have.  Its hard enough with all of the advertising that will bombard him his entire life, I don't want it being supported by the act of grandma or grandpa or mom or dad always getting him everything he asks.  

In my home I hope that presents will be the cherry on top. Not the whole dang milkshake.

And yes, my husband is completely on board with this plan.  I would not post something like this without his full backing.

I'm not alone, while trying to find a photo to use, I ran across this and she said it all in a pretty great way as well... I thoroughly second everything in her article so go read it now.

1 comment:

  1. This is all EXCELLENT. Totally agree. And I think - even if it causes a little friction - it's so smart to lay out these expectations with family, especially starting now, before he gets older and "gets" presents and things get out of hand... I should probably do the same, but everyone did pretty well for the 1st birthday. Mostly books and balls, and my mom did special things like a new pair of TOMS and a family photo album. We did make sure to put on our birthday party invites "no gifts necessary!" and most people stuck to that too. Thanks for sharing this!


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