Friday, November 4, 2011

Christmas gifts

Christmas isn’t about the gifts. We all know this. And yet, despite this fact we will be inundated from now until after Christmas with ads and posts about what is the “best” gift for that hard-to-buy for person. How are you supposed to deal, especially if you are a parent who hears “you’re not a good enough parent if you don’t get your kids a gift” every time you watch a commercial?

Turn it off! Seriously, until you can remember that having you is the best gift you can give them you need to look away from the screens and magazines. Stay away from the mall, especially. It will only hurt.

As a parent I know that all we want to do is provide the best we can for our children and it is so easy to be pulled into the marketing scheme designed to push this exact button! But if your kids have a roof over their heads and food in their belly then all they need is you.

The most frugal, minimalist, primal, whatever sort of gift you can give anyone, ESPECIALLY your kids, is yourself.
If you feel you MUST get them a gift once this sinks in your brain (has it really sunk in yet?) then get them something that they can use with you.
We can’t afford toothpaste half the time but we have extra fabric and wood at our disposal so we’ll be making our own version of the Kitchen Helper and matching aprons for mom and daughter. We can’t buy her anything but we can make her these things to provide a learning environment for her and the experience of cooking with mom (or dad!).

So, I beg of you this holiday season to NOT buy ANYTHING. Seriously. And, on top of that no-buy Christmas, anything you make should encourage time WITH you.
And if you are still skeptical, think of this: What message does it send to your kids if you sit back enjoying watching them open all of these things you made/bought for them and then you go off and do your own thing, thinking that they are happy now and know they are loved? They aren’t getting you; they’re getting the things you got them. Are they worth more than those things? Are you?

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