The Guilt of Christmas Present Overload

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In early September, I started preparing Jayden’s wishlist to ensure that his presents were bought and wrapped in advance to avoid the hectic last minute.

So I made a list.

And it was hard at first because he hadn’t asked for anything and was content with what he had. So I began to add items based on his interests.

Since quite a few people contribute to Jayden’s gifts, I found myself adding things just to add them… so everyone could equally contribute (they are happy to) and then I found myself deleting away. It was just too much.

I started to feel guilty… as I always do when it comes to having MORE.

And then I got to thinking about the kids who receive so much less and than the kids who receive so much more. I started thinking back to my childhood and became a little selfish because I am not a child of MORE.

 

And then I got to thinking about the kids who receive so much less and then the kids who receive so much more. I started thinking back to my childhood and got a little selfish because I am not a child of MORE.

Growing up, I didn’t always get exactly what I wanted for Christmas. And often times my mother struggled just so that I could have Christmas presents. So naturally, I want my child to have MORE than what I had because I have the means to do so. And it’s a never ending war of justification and guilt that cycles through my brain.


Usually to counteract this guilt, parents usually start clearing out their homes to prepare for the rush of gifts. I’ve thought about giving some toys away to ease the guilt, but I decided against it. I know I am not done having children and I don’t want to buy age appropriate toys all over again. Once our family grows, I feel purging will become much easier. We then, will reevaluate and give things away as needed. So as I modify wishlists, I feel less guilt. I think of everything as potential hand-me-downs. We still purchase gifts to donate to those in need and try to teach as much as a 3 year old can handle aboutsharing and giving. And for now, this is what works for our little family.

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Sheena Tatum

is the founder of Sophistishe. She's a free spirit, wife, boy mom, rental rebel, curator of pretty things, lover of vintage pyrex, and the tropics. Sheena can be found in NW Indiana with her husband and two scrumptious boys, clutching kraft paper, chalkboard paint, sriracha and chipotle pepper. In the midst of motherhood, wifedom, and managing a growing collection of digital projects, she somehow manages to find zen in being a quirky, introverted, lil’ lady.

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2 Comments

  • Reply December 31, 2011

    Anonymous

    When Ethan was little, I always felt guilty about the amount of presents he received under the tree.  After Addison came along, I began feeling less guilty.  I do not purchase toys, games or anything of that nature for my children throughout the year– only for their birthday, Easter or Christmas.  It is the one time of year I enjoy going all out for my children and so I do.  Plus… I spend almost nothing on the holiday’s, as I shop all year ’round and snag up some pretty awesome deals.

  • Reply December 21, 2011

    Cat@3KidsandUs

    I went through something similar last night. I went to wrap all the presents and realized I bought too much and felt awful. I grew up with maybe 3-4 present under the tree, nothing expensive and appreciated every gift. And then last night I looked at the piles and realized each kid has a dozen presents or so … I felt sick to my stomach. They’re good kids, but they’re too spoiled.

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